By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Newcastle United will be hoping to secure their passage to the knockout stage of the Europa League when they entertain Maritimo on Thursday night (8.05pm kick-off).
The Magpies take on their Madeira-based opponents at St. James' Park, knowing that victory would guarantee them a place in the next phase, while they could also achieve that if Bordeaux beat Club Brugge in the other Group D fixture.
When the sides met in the reverse fixture back in September they played out a goalless draw, but it was an eventful match with United keeper Rob Elliot making a handful of top class saves and Shola Ameobi denied by the woodwork at the other end.
Thursday's game is United's 127th in Europe, and 103rd in UEFA Competitions. Maritimo are the fourth Portuguese side to have played the Magpies, after Sporting Lisbon, Porto and Vitoria Setubal. This European campaign is the 16th in United's history since they first competed in the Inter Cities Fairs Cup back in 1968.
Tickets are still available for Thursday's fixture, and can be purchased by clicking here.
NEWCASTLE UNITED'S RECORD IN EUROPE
P126 W72 D25 L29 F216 A122
(Last six games - all competitions)
Newcastle - LLDDWW
Maritimo - DLLLDW
Newcastle (v Swansea, Premier League): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson (Gael Bigirimana 74), Mike Williamson, Steven Taylor, Davide Santon; Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheick Tiote, Vurnon Anita, Shane Ferguson (Shola Ameobi 46); Sammy Ameobi (Sylvain Marveaux 80), Demba Ba
Not used: Rob Elliot, James Tavernier, Mehdi Abeid, Romain Amalfitano
Maritimo (v Vitoria Setubal, Portuguese SuperLiga): Romain Salin; Briguel, Valentin Roberge, Marcio Rosario, Luis Olim; Rafael Miranda, Joao Luiz; Danilo Dias, David Simao (Olberdam Serra 79), Heldon Ramos (Sami 38); Ibrahim Obayomi (Fidelis 74)
Not used: Ricardo Ferreira, Joao Guilherme, Semedo, Adilson
Newcastle - Cheick Tiote serves a one-game Europa League suspension, having received three bookings during the group stage, and striker Shola Ameobi is a doubt with a groin complaint, but duo James Perch and Jonas Gutierrez are in contention for starting spots having recovered from respective thigh and knee injuries. Yohan Cabaye (groin), Gabriel Obertan (toe), Dan Gosling (ankle), Haris Vuckic (knee) and Ryan Taylor (knee) remain sidelined.
Maritimo - Full-back Ruben is an injury doubt for Maritimo, while forward Heldon Ramos and midfielder Olberdam Serra are ruled out of the 19-man party that manager Pedro Martins has brought to Tyneside.
A WORD FROM BOTH CAMPS
Alan Pardew, Newcastle manager: "We have lost two home games and that is not acceptable for us. We need to make sure we win. Doing that would give us qualification, so it's a big night for us. We entered this competition to try and win it so qualification is important."
Pedro Martins, Maritimo manager: To follow.
Danny Makkelie (Holland) - 2012/13 record: 17 games, 65 yellow cards, 9 red cards
DID YOU KNOW?
United's only two UEFA Cup/Europa League home defeats have come at the hands of Bastia in 1977 and Monaco in 1997. Since then there has been an unbeaten run of 22 games (won 19, drawn 3).