By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Newcastle United face an away trip at Club Brugge in Group D of the Europa League on Thursday evening (6pm kick-off British time).
The Magpies go into the fixture having lost just once in their last seven games, while Brugge have not tasted victory since the start of October and sacked manager Georges Leekens last weekend.
When the sides met a fortnight ago at St. James' Park, Gabriel Obertan's second-half strike separated them, and United could qualify for the knockout stages of the competition if they win and results elsewhere go their way.
Thursday's game is United's 126th in Europe, and 102nd in UEFA competitions. This European campaign is the 16th in Newcastle's history since the Magpies first competed in the Inter Cities Fairs Cup back in 1968.
United's allocation of 2,370 tickets for the fixture has sold out.
NEWCASTLE UNITED'S RECORD IN EUROPE
P125 W72 D24 L29 F214 A120
(Last six games - all competitions)
Newcastle - DWWDLW
Club Brugge - LLLLLD
Newcastle (v Liverpool, Premier League): Tim Krul; Vurnon Anita, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon; Yohan Cabaye (Shane Ferguson 68), James Perch (Danny Simpson 26), Jonas Gutierrez; Hatem Ben Arfa, Demba Ba (Sammy Ameobi 49), Papiss Cisse
Not used: Steve Harper, Mike Williamson, Gabriel Obertan, Shola Ameobi
Club Brugge (v Zulte-Waregem, Jupiler Pro League): Bojan Jorgacevic; Carl Hoefkens, Ryan Donk, Jordi Figueras, Bart Buysse; Jesper Jorgensen (Tom Hogli 46), Jonathan Blondel, Vadis Odjidja (Bjorn Vleminckx 82); Carlos Bacca, Mohammed Tchite, Ivan Trickovski (Maxime Lestienne 60)
Not used: Vladan Kujovic, Michael Almeback, Bjorn Engels, Birger Verstraete
Newcastle - Manager Alan Pardew has confirmed that captain Fabricio Coloccini, centre-back Mike Williamson midfielder Cheick Tiote and forward Sammy Ameobi and Shola Ameobi will all start for the Magpies. Demba Ba (ankle), Hatem Ben Arfa (rested) and Jonas Gutierrez (rested) have all not travelled, while James Perch (thigh), Dan Gosling (ankle), Haris Vuckic (knee) and Ryan Taylor (knee) remain sidelined.
Club Brugge - The hosts are without experienced midfielder Jonathan Blondel, who is suspended, while Lior Refaelov and Thibaut Van Acker have been ruled out by injury and illness respectively. However, forward Ivan Trickovski, who had been a doubt, is expected to be fit. Three youngsters from the Brugge Under 21 side have been named in the squad - Nathan Lagrou, Brandon Mechele and Nikolas Storm.
A WORD FROM BOTH CAMPS
Alan Pardew, Newcastle manager: "We have had a good couple of weeks and the group is looking forward to another good game. We felt the power of Brugge when we played them previously, they are a good side and I am sad to see the manager go because I really admired him. Winning here is tough for us. We will enter it to win it, but I think it will be tough. Every game is a challenge for us but we are in really good spirits."
Philippe Clement, Club Brugge caretaker manager: "A lot has happened this week. Maybe this game comes with perfect timing. We need to play as one block again, and get the fans to back the team. It's still a goal for me to continue in Europe. I reckon it's a realistic goal too, as we showed some good stuff at Newcastle. The result was not in perfect relation, but we hope we can bring something positive on Thursday."
Luca Banti (Italy) - 2012/13 record: 8 games, 48 yellow cards, 1 red card
DID YOU KNOW?
United have used 27 different players in five European games this season. The Magpies have yet to concede a goal in Europe in their third kit.