Maritimo v Newcastle United preview Europa League Group D
Newcastle begin their Europa League Group D campaign away to Maritimo without strikers Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba.
Last Updated: 20/09/12 11:59am
Cisse has been withdrawn from the squad because of illness, while Ba's absence comes on the back of his agent hitting out at manager Alan Pardew's decision to name him among the substitutes for Monday's draw at Everton.
The Senegal forward stepped off the bench to score twice at Goodison Park, but has not travelled with the rest of the Magpies party to the Portuguese island of Madeira.
Pardew has also left midfield duo Yohan Cabaye and Jonas Gutierrez out of his plans with a number of youngsters drafted in for the continental campaign.
Goalkeeper Tim Krul (elbow), defenders Danny Simpson and Fabricio Coloccini (both hamstring) and Ryan Taylor (knee), as well as midfielder Cheick Tiote (calf) miss out through injury.
Cisse's place in the squad has been taken by 17-year-old Adam Campbell, while James Tavernier, Shane Ferguson, Mehdi Abeid, Haris Vuckic and Sammy Ameobi are also included.
After their impressive efforts last term which culminated in a fifth-place finish, the North East club have not won in the Premier League since their opening day success against Tottenham.
Maritimo warmed up for Thursday night's game with a creditable 1-1 home draw with Sporting Lisbon and when asked how he had viewed the Magpies' slow start, boss Pedro Martins said: "It's normal.
"They beat Tottenham, which was a good result, and then they lost at Chelsea, which is normal because Chelsea are a very strong team.
"They played on Monday night and had a good second half, they were very, very strong. They play in a very British way and it will be a very, very difficult game."
Maritimo earned their place in the group stage of the competition by defeating Asteras on away goals after drawing 1-1 in Greece, and then Georgians Dila, winning 1-0 at home and 2-0 away.
That unbeaten start to their campaign has given them confidence that they can extend it by making life intensely difficult for Newcastle in the humid conditions at their stadium.
Martins said: "It's very important to win your home games. That is our short-term aim so we can be strong in the future."