Europa League: Newcastle v Anzhi Makhachkala match preview
A look ahead to tonight’s Europa League clash at St James’ Park
Newcastle will be hoping that the roar from the Toon Army can spur them onto victory when they welcome wealthy Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala for the second-leg of their Europa League tie.
After a resilient performance earned them a 0-0 draw away in Russia, Alan Pardew’s side have every chance of progressing against their star-studded opponents. The Magpies rotated their squad for the tie in Moscow but are likely to name a strong squad for the return leg.
The Russian’s will be looking to experienced forward Samuel Eto’o to provide the goals required for qualification, with the Cameroon international leading the competition’s scoring charts with an impressive nine goals this term.
Anzhi, who have never been this far in the competition and sit second in the Russian Premier League, suffered a shock 2-0 defeat away to relegation candidates Mordovia Saransk at the weekend.
Newcastle beat Stoke in the dying minutes on Sunday and Pardew’s side could reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2005. Papiss Cisse, who missed the first-leg through injury, is available after scoring the winner at the weekend.
Lassana Diarra and Yuri Zhirkov possess experience in the English game for the away side, both appearing for Chelsea during their time in the English game. Manager Hiddink also spent time in charge of the London club, leading them to the 2009 FA Cup.
KICK-OFF: Thursday, 8.05pm
Anzhi Makhachkala 0 Newcastle 0, Europa League, March 2013
This is only the second time that Anzhi have been in the competition. Their last appearance was in the 2001/2002 season, where they were defeated 1-0 to Scottish side Rangers in the first round.
Star striker Samuel Eto’o is thought to be the highest paid player in the world. His weekly earnings are thought to be around £330,000 and the former Inter Milan striker earns around 60p every second.
Anzhi are the joint longest serving team in this year’s competition. Along with Viktoria Plzen, the Russian side entered in the second qualifying round
Newcastle reached the last 16 despite being the lowest scoring team out of all surviving sides so far. The Magpies have only managed to muster up eight goals since the first match day.
This is the fifth time that Newcastle have appeared at the last 16 round.
Newcastle to win: 2.54
Anzhi Makhachkala to win: 3.15
Anzhi Makhachkala: 1.76
TV: Live on Setanta Ireland at 20.05pm, highlights on ITV 4 on Friday at 18.00pm
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