• Europa League

Tiote hungry for Europa glory with Newcastle

ESPN staff
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Cheik Tiote is determined to lead Newcastle all the way to Europa League glory this season.

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The Magpies face Club Brugge on Thursday, live on ESPN, aware that a win could send them into the knockout stages.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has shuffled his pack for European nights, but midfield star Tiote will feature as he is sidelined domestically on account of a three-match suspension.

Tiote has apologised for his red card against Sunderland, but will not curb his all-action style.

"I have to forget about the sending-off in the derby," Tiote said. "Of course it hurt and I'm sorry but it's over and I have to focus on how I can help the team moving forward.

"I didn't need the manager to talk to me about my disciplinary record. I know I have picked up too many yellow cards. I know that I have to be careful but it is my style."

He has been working hard in training, according to Pardew, and is ready to stun Brugge.

"It is very good we are in the Europa League as it gives me a chance to play games," he said. "I will not be out for long. I am not good at watching games, I want to be playing."

"We are top of the group; that is what we expected. We must qualify. We want to win every game and reach the final."

Newcastle player to watch: Pardew is set to tinker, with Xicomedy the frame and Gael Bigirimana, Gabriel Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, and keeper Rob Elliot are all set to start. Obertan was on the scoresheet in the reverse fixture and he could put his pace to good use against the Belgians.

Club Brugge player to watch: Jonathan Blondel, formerly of Tottenham, is a midfielder of real class and Tiote will have to be at his dynamic best to deny him the space to influence play.

Betting: Brugge parted company with Georges Leekens at the weekend and so often teams find a spark when a change is made at the top. With that in mind, we'll take Brugge to be ahead at half time and full time.

Prediction: 2-0

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