By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
United kick off their 2012/13 Europa League campaign against Greek outfit Atromitos in the first leg of their fourth qualifying round tie.
The Magpies go into the fixture on the back of a morale-boosting 2-1 Premier League victory over Tottenham Hotspur, while their opponents are still waiting to kick off their Super League season.
Thursday's game is United's 121st in Europe with Atromitus being the 173rd different side United have met competitively. They are also United's 57th different opponents in European football and the third Greek side to have played The Magpies (after Panionis and Olymkiakos).
NEWCASTLE UNITED'S RECORD IN EUROPE
P120 W69 D22 L29 F208 A119
(Last five games - all competitions)
Atromitos - WWWWW
Newcastle - WLWDW
Atromitos (v Asteras Tripolis, friendly): Charles Itandje; Ioannis Skondras (Panagiotis Mpallas 78), Nikolaos Lazaridis (Eustathios Tavlaridis 78), Sokratis Fytanidis, Konstantinos Giannoulis; Eduardo Brito, Walter Iglesias (Emmanouil Kallergis 78), Elini Dimoutsos (Evangelos Nastos 78); Denis Epstein (Antonios Athanasiou 83), Anastasios Karamanos (Njazi Kuqi 59 (Sebastian Garcia 72)), Nikola Beljic (Marinaldo Chumbinho 59)
Newcastle (v Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, James Perch, Davide Santon; Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheick Tiot, Yohan Cabaye (Vurnon Anita 71), Jonas Gutierrez (c); Demba Ba (Gabriel Obertan 85), Papiss Cisse
Atromitos - Manager Dusan Bajevic has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the fixture and has a full squad to select from, including former Liverpool goalkeeper Charles Itandje.
Newcastle - Hatem Ben Arfa serves the first of a three-game European ban, dating back to his time at Marseiles, while Shola Ameobi is a doubt with an injury sustained during the warm-up on Saturday. Alan Pardew is expected to tinker with his personnel from the weekend's victory over Spurs and give other members of his squad a run-out.
A WORD FROM BOTH CAMPS
Dusan Bajevic, Atromitos manager: "It is a tough draw. From the first moment we were aware of our possible opponents, we knew it wouldn't be anything easy. English football is popular worldwide and has its own distinctives. We will now raise our hands high. We will try for the best with all power we have."
Alan Pardew, Newcastle manager: "We are really looking forward to it. It's a new adventure for us. We've got a win, so that's going to buoy us, and I've got to hope that I get the selection right. We need to win that game, and we've got to have a team that is going to win."
Alon Yefet (Israel) - 2012/13 record: 2 games, two yellow cards, one red card
DID YOU KNOW?
Atromitos finished fourth in the Greek Super League last season, and have been Greek Cup runners-up in 2010/11 and 2011/12.