We're finally back in Europe this evening and all Toon fans can talk about today is what the team might be. Pardew has gone on record saying he will pick a 'strong side' and so he should. In fact he should have gone a step further and said his 'strongest side'. With this in mind, this is the team that I would pick to beat Metalist and take a decent lead into the second leg:
Pardew has gone on record to say that Mbiwa will definitely start so Stevie Taylor will probably get a deserved rest after only recently coming back from injury. With Debuchy not chosen for the Europa squad there is a space to fight for and seeing as Simpson is a) struggling with injury and b) crap then Anita deserves to get back in the team as he has impressed in this position earlier in the season.
The above team is the best we have available and having the likes of Jonas and Perch who are nothing but makeshift players in the team would be totally unnecessary and nothing but a hindrance. A clean sheet is arguably the most important aspect to come out of this game as we have a history of going out on away goals in this competition. Specifically when the away leg is second. 2-0 to the Toon!
Howay The Lads!
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