Pic Special: Artificial Intelligence
Not only will Newcastle have to cope with the quality of Anzhi Makhachkala on Thursday evening, but they will also be playing on an artificial pitch at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
So Alan Pardew and his staff attempted to prepare their players by training on a similar 4G surface - but rather closer to home, at the Druid Park home of Gosforth Rugby Football Club.
United have an indoor artificial pitch at their Benton training ground but the surface at Druid Park is closer to that used in Russia and so, leaving no stone unturned, the Club arranged to use that.
Monday's session was mainly based around getting used to the different surface, with various passing and shooting drills, and although there was no crowd, the proximity to Newcastle International Airport meant there was a fair bit of noise.
Making more than a flying visit to the session was Club Photographer Ian Horrocks, who brought nufc.co.uk this exclusive gallery.