- Venue: St James Park
- Date: Thursday 14th March
- Kick-Off: 8.05pm
A horribly dull first leg has set up a perfectly balanced second leg. Newcastle returned from Moscow with a 0-0 draw to give them hope of reaching the last 8. Newcastle now know any form of win will send them through but have to be cautious as an Anzhi away goal could spell curtains.
Newcastle’s home Europa League form has been impressive this year with The Magpies unbeaten (3 wins, 2 draws) but they haven’t won since their second group match. Anzhi have struggled on the road in the competition with three wins, two draws and two defeats but haven’t won away since the qualifying rounds.
This all leaves us with a very interesting, hard to call tie. With only a week separating the two legs there isn’t much time for rest and both teams also played at the weekend with Newcastle registering a 2-1 win against Stoke. Anzhi finally resumed their league campaign after the winter break, with the team in second they were shocked by Mordovia Saransk 2-0, the team currently lying in the relegation zone. Just Anzhi’s third league defeat.
Anzhi are one of the tournament favourites but Newcastle haven’t lost at home since mid-January in all competitions, this tie is delicately in the balance and with tickets selling well for the clash, St James’ Park could have a European night to remember on its hands.
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This article was first posted on March 14, 2013