By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Newcastle United begin their Europa League Group D campaign with a trip to Madeira to face Maritimo on Thursday evening.
Kick-off at the Estadio dos Barreiros is 6pm, with the Magpies having taken a 19-man squad mixed with youth and experience.
Both sides qualified for the competition by finishing fifth in their respective divisions last term, and Maritimo have started the 2012/13 campaign brightly, unbeaten in their opening three Primeira Liga fixtures.
Newcastle have only tasted defeat once this season - at Chelsea - and go into the match on the back of a morale-boosting point away at Everton on Monday.
Thursday's game is United's 123rd in Europe, with Maritimo being the 58th different side the Magpies have met in European football, and their fourth Portuguese opponents (after Sporting Lisbon, Porto and Vitoria Setubal).
NEWCASTLE UNITED'S RECORD IN EUROPE
P122 W70 D23 L29 F210 A120
(Last six games - all competitions)
Maritimo - DWDWWD
Newcastle - DDWLDW
Maritimo (v Sporting CP, Primeira Liga): Romain Salin; Briguel (c), Joao Guilherme, Valentin Roberge, Ruben; Joao Luiz, Rafael Miranda; Heldon, David Simao, Sami; Danilo Dias
Newcastle (v Everton, Premier League): Steve Harper; James Perch, Mike Williamson, Steven Taylor, Davide Santon; Vurnon Anita, Jonas Gutierrez (c); Hatem Bn Arfa, Yohan Cabaye (Gael Bigirimana 90), Sylvain Marveaux (Demba Ba 46); Papiss Cisse (Shola Ameobi 79)
Maritimo - The Green and Reds have no injury concerns, but will be missing first-choice left-back Ruben and central midfielder Rodrigo Antonio, both through suspension.
Newcastle - Hatem Ben Arfa serves the final match of his three-game European ban, dating back to his time at Marseiles. Tim Krul (elbow), Danny Simpson (hamstring), Ryan Taylor (knee), Fabricio Coloccini (hamstring), Cheick Tiote (knee) and Papiss Cisse (illness) are all ruled out, while Demba Ba, Jonas Gutierrez and Yohan Cabaye have not travelled with the squad to Madeira.
A WORD FROM BOTH CAMPS
Pedro Martins, Maritimo manager: "In the first five or six games they have used 23 or 24 players, so he (Pardew) makes a mixture of the players. I think he brings these players because, at this moment, it is the best team he has."
Alan Pardew, Newcastle manager: "It's a tough game, looking at them. They got a good result on Sunday against Sporting Lisbon and they are a good defensive side, so I think it's going to be hard to crack them in terms of getting goals against them. We have got to make sure we stay in the game and hopefully sneak a win and get three points on the board."
Robert Schorgenhofer (Austria) - 2012/13 record: 10 games, 56 yellow cards, 3 red cards
DID YOU KNOW?
Newcastle are seventh in the list of most European appearances by English clubs, with 122. They trail Liverpool (332), Manchester United (304), Arsenal (235), Chelsea (187), Tottenham (177) and Leeds United (149).