Alan Pardew set to rest star Newcastle United players for Greece Europa League trip


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The Independent Football

Alan Pardew is preparing to leave some leading players at home when he takes Newcastle United into European competition for the first time in five years next week.

Newcastle travel to Greece to play Atromitos in the Europa League on Thursday night and then fly to London to face Chelsea in a televised Premier League game on Saturday.

It is the kind of tight schedule that will test a squad looking to push on from last season's fifth-place finish.

Asked if he would rest star players for the Europa game, manager Pardew said: "Possibly yes, Almost every game I am going to have to review with my staff and ask where are we going to go with these players.

"Who can play the three games in a week? Who can play two? It's the first week and we have already had guys on international duty and probably not done as much work as we would have liked.

"I think I have to see how we cope with a Europa League which is tough scheduling for a Premier League team and how we cope with those first 10 games. Then, I think I will have a little bit more of an idea. Logistically, I noted how Stoke played a complete second XI in one of the games and left senior players behind and I can understand that.

"If you have really long trips, four or five hours, it is almost impossible. So we have to be very intelligent in what we do, but the most important thing is that we put a Newcastle team out which we think is going to win.

"The younger ones and guys who did not see a lot of football last year are definitely going to get games. "

Meanwhile, Sunderland completed the signing of the former Tottenham striker Louis Saha on a one-year deal yesterday.