Yanga-Mbiwa makes first Newcastle start as Pardew names a strong side

MAPOU Yanga-Mbiwa will make his first start for Newcastle United in this evening's Europa League last 32 tie with Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv.

After selecting below-strength sides for a number of matches in the early stages of the competition, Magpies manager Alan Pardew has named an extremely strong team for the opening game of the knock-out stage.

Yanga-Mbiwa will start at right-back and replace Mathieu Debuchy, who was not included in the Europa League squad.

Pardew could only add one player who had already played in the Champions League this season, and gave Yanga-Mbiwa the nod over Debuchy.

The only other change from the side that lost at Tottenham at the weekend sees Gabriel Obertan replace Yoan Gouffran, who is also ineligible after representing Bordeaux in an earlier round of the Europa League.

Newcastle will be keen to establish a healthy lead this evening ahead of next week's trip to Kharkiv.

The winners of the two-legged tie face either Anzhi Makhachkala or Hannover in the last 16, with the Russian side having won the first leg 3-1 in Moscow.

NEWCASTLE (4-2-3-1): Krul; Yanga-Mbiwa, S Taylor, Coloccini, Santon; Tiote, Cabaye; Obertan, Sissoko, Gutierrez; Cisse.

Subs: Elliot (gk), Simpson, Haidara, Anita, Perch, Marveaux, Shola Ameobi.

METALIST KHARKIV (4-2-3-1): Goryainov; Villagra, Gueye, Torsiglieri, Fininho; Edmar, Torres; Marcos, Xavier, Sosa; Cristaldo.

Subs: Disljenkovic (gk), Berezovchuk, Shelayev, Blanco, Jaja, Krasnopyorov, Willian.

The Northern Echo:

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