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SC Heerenveen coach Gertjan Verbeek has received a boost ahead of their UEFA Cup encounter against Newcastle United FC with the recovery of leading scorer Klaas Jan Huntelaar from injury.
Forward duo return
Huntelaar missed Saturday's Eredivisie match against Roda JC with a groin injury, but will be able to take on Newcastle as will fellow forward Arnold Bruggink, who has overcome flu. Only centre-back Marcel Seip is absent, with a foot injury, and midfielder Arek Radomski believes the team gained confidence from the 3-2 victory at Roda.
"Winning is always good for morale," the Polish international said. "If we had lost against Roda, the preparation for Newcastle would have been in a different atmosphere. We are a unit, and that is why we always have a chance. We have to give everything we have got because individually they are capable of a lot. But if we can win at home to [VfB] Stuttgart, then why not against Newcastle?"
The visitors, semi-finalists last season, will be refreshed after a weekend off, but must do without two key midfielders. Kieron Dyer has flu, while anchorman Nicky Butt has an ankle injury. New centre-back Jean-Alain Boumsong is ineligible as he is cup-tied, leaving room for young defender Peter Ramage to travel to the Netherlands.
Manager Graeme Souness said: "The UEFA Cup is a big competition for us and we know we can go a long way to getting into the next round if we do the job properly on Thursday night. Sometimes playing away first is beneficial, sometimes it is not. What we have to do is give a good account of ourselves."
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