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Metalist steeled to storm Newcastle

Wednesday 9 January 2013 8.05 CET
Papiss Cissé celebrates scoring at Newcastle United's stronghold, St James' Park

Newcastle United FC can take confidence from a fine home record in Europe as they play host to FC Metalist Kharkiv in the UEFA Europa League round of 32.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA club competition.

• Newcastle's previous experience of Ukrainian opposition amounts to four UEFA Champions League group stage games against FC Dynamo Kyiv which ended W2 D1 L1 (W2 D0 L0 at home – W0 D1 L1 in Ukraine).

• Metalist's only previous encounters with an English club came in the first round of the 2007/08 UEFA Cup when Myron Markevich's side drew 1-1 at Everton FC before losing a dramatic return leg 3-2.

Match background
• Newcastle are unbeaten in 11 European home games (W8 D3) since a 2-1 loss to RC Deportivo La Coruña in the 2005 UEFA Intertoto Cup semi-finals. Their unbeaten home run in this competition extends to 25 games (W19 D6) since a 1-0 loss to AS Monaco FC in the 1996/97 quarter-finals.

• Metalist have lost only once on the road this season, following up two wins and a draw with a 1-0 loss at SK Rapid Wien in their final UEFA Europa League group stage game, by which time they were already sure of a round of 32 place.

• Newcastle, who were runners-up in Group D, have reached the round of 32 for the first time since the competition became the UEFA Europa League, having made it through on both of their previous attempts since the advent of the UEFA Cup group stage in 2004/05 – most recently in 2006/07. Their most successful campaign in the competition was 2003/04, when they reached the semi-finals.

• Group K winners Metalist have made it to the round of 32 for a fourth time. They have progressed to the round of 16 twice (missing out in 2010/11). Their best campaign to date saw them get to the quarter-finals last season, where they were eliminated by Sporting Clube de Portugal.

Team facts
• Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was the 2011/12 Premier League manager of the year, having established himself at Reading FC, West Ham United FC, Charlton Athletic FC and Southampton FC prior to a move to Tyneside in 2010. A glazier and taxi driver while playing non-league football, the midfielder was in his mid-20s when he became a professional, playing for Crystal Palace FC and Charlton among others.

• Metalist coach Myron Markevich is a keen student of the game – he has made trips to study Fabio Capello, Christoph Daum and Carlo Ancelotti – and is also an able pianist. Having been in charge of Metalist since 2005, he was named Ukraine coach on his 59th birthday in February 2010 but stepped down that August to focus solely on his club duties.

Round of 16: FC Anji Makhachkala/Hannover 96 v Newcastle/Metalist
• The first legs will be played on 7 March, with the returns the following Thursday.

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