Metalist are currently in their winter break and last week’s match was their first game since 6 December. They sit fourth in the Ukrainian league and are only two points behind second-placed Dnipro. Metalist are aiming to reach the round of 16 for a third time.
Visitors Newcastle will be looking for a crucial away goal after the first leg at Tyneside finished 0-0. Alan Pardew’s side are currently languishing in 16th place in the Premier League and it has been suggested that their involvement in the Europa League has contributed to their poor league form.
KICK-OFF: Thursday, 6pm
Newcastle United 0 Metalist Kharkiv 0, Europa League, Round of 32, February 2013
Metalist have lost just once in 11 European home games, winning seven and drawing three, with their only reverse being a 1-0 defeat to Olympiakos in last season’s round of 16.
Group K winners Metalist have finished European games strongly this season, with five of their nine group stage goals being scored between the 75 minute and the final whistle.
Metalist’s only previous games against an English club came in the first round of the 2007/08 UEFA Cup when they drew 1-1 at Everton before dramatically losing the second leg 3-2.
Newcastle have not won any of their last five European away games, with three draws and two defeats during that run.
Newcastle’s previous experience of Ukrainian opposition is four Champions League games against Dynamo Kiev. The Magpies won both of the home games but drew one and lost one in Ukraine.
Newcastle, who were runners up in Group D, have reached the round of 32 for the first time since the competition became the Europa League. They also made it through both their attempts at the UEFA Cup group stage in 2004/05 and 2006/07. Their best run was in 2003/04 when they reached the semi-finals.
Find odds using Betfair.com – always write them as decimals.
Metalist to win: 1.92
Newcastle to win: 4.8
TV: Live on ESPN at 6pm (when match starts, not when programme starts), highlights on ITV4 at 6pm on Friday (check when their highlights are on). If it’s not live on TV, just put the highlights time.
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