Newcastle United can obtain qualification at St. James’ Park tonight if they can alter their poor domestic form and beat Portuguese side Maritimo. The Magpies earned a 0-0 draw in the reverse fixture and Alan Pardew has injury concerns with his side.
French midfielder Yohan Cabaye and James Perch are both ruled out through injury, the former out until the New Year with his groin problem. Jonas Gutierrez and Gabriel Obertan are on the injury list, so Pardew is expected to start young Northern Irish midfielder Shane Ferguson. Newcastle have the services of Papiss Cisse again after medical paperwork problems between the Senegalese FA and Newcastle prevented him playing in the 2-1 defeat to Swansea.
Pardew has captain Fabricio Coloccini back in action after he served the second of his three-game domestic ban against Swansea. Newcastle have yet to win in November and that will want to be changed so they can progress through with a game to go.
Maritimo travel to Tyneside knowing anything less than three points will see them eliminated from the competition. The Portuguese side are also in poor form and Pedro Martins will face a tough task to beat a Newcastle team who are still unbeaten in the group. Wholesale changes are expected for the visitors following their weekend cup tie with lowly Aguiar de Beira.
The only two injury worries for Martins are Heldon Ramos and Oberdam, but those two players are not regular first-choice stars. Newcastle will have to be wary of Danilo Dias, the 24 year old striker who is fast making a name for himself in Portugal.
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