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Newcastle v Metalist Kharkiv

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Gouffran: Ruled out through injury

Gouffran: Ruled out through injury

Metalist Kharkiv travel to Newcastle in the Europa League, looking to gain an advantage in the first leg of their round of 32 tie.

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The hosts last tasted defeat in Europe in 2005 when they went down to Deportivo la Coruna in the Intertoto Cup, but they will have to be at their best against a defence that conceded just three goals in the group stage.

The last time the Magpies faced Ukranian opposition was in the 2002/2003 UEFA Champions League when they ran out 2-1 winners, with goals from Alan Shearer and Gary Speed deciding the outcome of the match in their favour.

Myron Markevych's team have not played a competitive match since December 6 as they enjoyed a mid-season break from domestic competition, and will be looking to shake off any rustiness early on in the game.

The Yellow-Blues' best-ever finish in the tournament was at the quarter-final stage last season where they failed to better Sporting Lisbon, losing 3-2 on aggregate to the Portuguese side.

In team news, Alan Pardew's side will be without January signing Yoan Gouffran, after the striker injured his leg in a game against Tottenham, while Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring), Danny Simpson (toe) and Dan Gosling (knee) are also unavailable.

Long-term absentees Haris Vukcic and Ryan Taylor (both knee ligament) remain sidelined.

Meanwhile, the visitors have a full squad to chose from with no serious injury concerns.

Posted: 13/02/13 13:19

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