Guy Lacombe's Sochaux prepared perfectly for the visit of Newcastle by defeating AS Monaco FC 3-1 away from home on Friday night. The win, secured by goals from 17-year-old Jérémy Menez, Wilson Oruma and fit-again Brazilian Ilan, cemented third place in Ligue 1 for Sochaux and extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to eleven matches. Marcelo Trapasso, Sylvain Monsoreau and Lionel Potillon will all miss Thursday's game through injury while strikers Jaouad Zairi and Santos remain doubtful.
Only eleven minutes of Newcastle's Premiership fixture at struggling Crystal Palace FC remained when Patrick Kluivert broke the deadlock with an exquisite back-heel. Strike partner Craig Bellamy, moved from out wide due to Alan Shearer's thigh strain, completed the 2-0 victory for Newcastle, who were also without midfield player Nicky Butt (leg). Shearer's injury means he will miss the Sochaux match, for which Nicky Butt returns after suspension.
Group D's bottom club FC Dinamo Tbilisi beat city rivals FC Lokomotiv Tbilisi 5-2 on Sunday thanks largely to Levan Melkadze, whose four-goal haul lifted him to joint-top of the Georgian Premier League scoring charts with ten in 16 games. Georgi Nemsadze (muscle strain) missed the game through injury and with Ilia Kandelaki suspended, Levan Silagadze took on the vacant defensive midfield role and scored the other Dinamo goal. In addition to Nemsadze, Shota Kashia will sit out the visit of Sporting Clube de Portugal on Thursday.
Carlos Martins is an injury worry for Sporting after leaving the field midway through the second half of the 2-2 draw at SC Beira-Mar. The midfield player was withdrawn with his team leading 2-1 after two goals from Roudolphe Douala, but a last-gasp equaliser prevented Sporting from climbing into third, instead seeing them drop two places to seventh in the Portuguese SuperLiga.
The goalscoring woes of Panionios NFC continued at the weekend when they failed to find the net for the seventh time in nine games, settling for a 0-0 draw at fellow UEFA Cup contenders Egaleo FC. They will be desperate to rediscover their touch in front of goal as they welcome Dinamo to Greece on 1 December, by which time Saša Zimonjic (groin) and Alexandros Tziolis (knee) should have returned to first-team action. Both are back in training, although Tziolis is considered the fitter of the two.
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