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Magpies opt to leave Debuchy out of European squad
Updated 5:02pm Thursday 7th February 2013 in Sport
NEWCASTLE UNITED have added new signings Moussa Sissoko, Massadio Haidara and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa to their Europa League squad, but there was no place for Mathieu Debuchy.
The Magpies were allowed to make up to three additions to their European squad ahead of the knock-out stages of the competition that will see Alan Pardew’s men take on Metalist Kharkiv of Ukraine.
The first leg of the tie is at St James’ Park next Thursday and Pardew will have three of his five January signings available for selection.
Sissoko has been a revelation since arriving from Toulouse for £1.8m and he could make his European debut for the club, as could left-back Haidara.
The rules state a club can add only one player that has already featured in another UEFA competition previously this season and that meant the Magpies boss had to make a decision between Debuchy and Yanga-Mbiwa.
Yoan Gouffran’s appearances in the Europa League for Bordeaux mean he is cuptied and not eligible for the Magpies in the competition this season.
Kharkiv come to St James’ Park a week today, but the Ukrainian side will arrive on Tyneside this weekend before they will take on Northern League side Whitley Bay in a friendly at Hillheads on Sunday night.
They sit fourth in the Ukraine Premier League, but are currently on a mid-season break that sees them without a league fixture between December 2 and March 1.
Their last competitive game ended in a 1-0 defeat at home to Rapid Vienna on December 6, but they have played a few friendly games, beating Russian side CSKA Moscow 4-2 at a Spanish training camp.
The Magpies have a Premier League trip to Tottenham on Saturday before they can turn their attentions to the Europa League and Pardew will hope his side can make it three wins on the bounce at White Hart Lane.
Some of Pardew’s French contingent were on international duty in a 2-1 defeat to Germany and it appears they will all return to Tyneside unscathed.
Sissoko and Yohan Cabaye were handed starts for Les Blues, while Debuchy and Yanga-Mbiwa were both unused substitutes.
Goals from Sami Khedira and Thomas Muller cancelled out Mathieu Valbuena’s opener in Paris.
Kick-off for the Whitley Bay v Metalist Kharkiv friendly is at 7pm and the game is open to the public, with admission at the gate £10 adults and £5 concessions.
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