Manager Alan Pardew will have one eye on the weekend's league game against Norwich City, particularly since the Magpies have had a disappointing start to the league season - only five points from the opening four games. Nevertheless, the lure of a strong start to their Europa League campaign, against a side that is, on paper at least, the weaker team, should be incentive enough for the Englishman to bring out his big guns. Therefore, his injury worries aside, expect Pardew to field a relatively strong side.
Maritimo, on the other hand, have had a slightly better start to their domestic campaign. They are fifth in the Portuguese Liga and come into this game after a 1-1 home draw against Sporting Lisbon. More importantly, they come into this game having conceded only once at home this season (to Sporting) and that can often give the underdog the extra confidence boost to pull off an unlikely result.
Neither manager is giving much away ahead of this game, although both have acknowledged this will not be an easy game. For all that Newcastle have had a poor start to the league, Maritimo manager Pedro Martins has stressed his opponents are a very strong side and deserve to be treated with the utmost respect. Pardew, meanwhile, pointed to the 1-1 draw against Sporting as evidence his team would have to keep their guard up against their hosts.
"It's a tough game, looking at them. They got a good result on Sunday against Sporting Lisbon and they are a good defensive side, so I think it's going to be hard to crack them in terms of getting goals against them. We have got to make sure we stay in the game and hopefully sneak a win and get three points on the board," he told Newcastle's Web site.
Maritimo's strongest hopes of a good result will be the fact Newcastle are facing a few injury problems. Argentine central defender Fabricio Coloccini and Dutch goalkeeper Tim Krul (reportedly a target for Spanish giants Barcelona) are both unavailable, as are Danny Simpson and key central midfielder Cheikh Tiote. In addition, Haris Vuckic is a fitness doubt while defender Ryan Taylor has been ruled out for most of the season.
The biggest loss, however, will be that neither of the Magpies' first choice strikers - Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse will be available. The latter has an unidentified stomach bug, while the former is considering a transfer out of the club in January. Shola Ameobi, Gabriel Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux are expected to replace the Senegalese duo.
Newcastle (4-3-3): Harper; Tavernier, Taylor, Williamson, Perch; Cabaye, Bigirimana, Amalfitano; Obertan, Shola Ameobi, Marveaux
The hosts will be at full strength, with the exception of midfielder Rodrigo Antonio, who is suspended for this game.
Maritimo (4-3-3): Salin; Briguel, Guilherme, Roberge, Ruben; Heldon, Miranda, Luiz; Danilo, Fidelis, Sami
Where to Watch Live
Kick-off is set for 6 pm BST and live coverage, from the Estádio dos Barreiros Stadium in Portugal, will be available from 5.30 pm BST on ESPN and ESPN HD.
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