Europa League: Newcastle look to seal place in next round against Club Bruges
Newcastle United could seal their passage to the last 32 of the Europa League with a win over Club Bruges in Belgium.
Last Updated: 08/11/12 10:21am
The Magpies sit top of Group D with seven points after their opening three games, having beaten Bordeaux and Bruges at St James' Park and drawn with Maritimo away from home.
A victory in their latest encounter will ensure qualification for the knockout phase with two matches to spare, as long as Bordeaux do not suffer defeat against Maritimo.
Alan Pardew will be confident of picking up a positive result following a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Liverpool at the weekend, although he is set to ring the changes.
Forgotten man Xisco has been named among a 20-strong Newcastle party which arrived in Belgium on Wednesday ahead of the match at the Jan Breydel Stadion.
The Spaniard, who scored a hat-trick for the club's Under-21 side against Stoke last month, was on the plane along with Fabricio Coloccini and Cheick Tiote, who are both likely to feature as they are suspended for Sunday's Premier League fixture against West Ham.
Yohan Cabaye, who left the field at Liverpool with a tight hamstring, has also been included, but defenders James Perch (thigh) and Danny Simpson (shoulder) and striker Demba Ba (shin) stayed behind along with senior men Steve Harper and Hatem Ben Arfa.
Club Bruges have one long-term absentee, with Victor Vasquez not expected back from his collarbone injury until the end of the year.
Caretaker boss Philippe Clement has just 18 fit first-team players at his disposal, with Jesper Jorgensen and Vadis Odjidja the only available midfielders.
Macedonian forward Ivan Trickovski and Israeli international Lior Refaelov failed fitness tests this week.
Bruges are currently third in the group on three points, one behind Bordeaux and just above Maritimo.