ALAN Pardew has named a strong Newcastle United side for this evening's Europa League group game with Maritimo.

The Magpies kick off at St James' Park knowing a win will guarantee a place in the last 32 of the Europa League with a game to spare.

Pardew has named his strongest starting XI of the tournament so far, with Tim Krul getting the nod in goal and Danny Simpson, Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor and Davide Santon forming what is effectively a first-choice back four.

Loading article content

Hatem Ben Arfa makes his first European appearance for the Magpies at the apex of midfield, and will be flanked on either side by Sylvain Marveaux and Sammy Ameobi.

Papiss Cisse starts as a lone striker after missing last weekend's Premier League defeat to Swansea at the behest of the Senegalese FA.

NEWCASTLE (4-2-3-1): Krul; Simpson, Coloccini, S Taylor, Santon; Anita, Bigirimana; Marveaux, Ben Arfa, Sammy Ameobi; Cisse.

Subs: Elliot (gk), Tavernier, Williamson, Ferguson, Abeid, Amalfitano, Ba.

MARITIMO (4-5-1): Salin; Diogo, Roberge, Rosario, Ferreira; Dias, Luiz, Miranda, Simao, Sami; Adilson.

Subs: Ricardo (gk), Fidelis, Olim, Briguel, Antonio, Brigido, Guilherme.