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Bordeaux facing French-fuelled test at Newcastle

Published: Wednesday 26 September 2012, 22.05CET
There will be a strong Gallic flavour to the UEFA Europa League Group D game pitting Newcastle United FC with FC Girondins de Bordeaux, who have a poor recent record in England.
Bordeaux facing French-fuelled test at Newcastle
Yohan Cabaye (right), one of many French players at Newcastle ©Getty Images
Published: Wednesday 26 September 2012, 22.05CET

Bordeaux facing French-fuelled test at Newcastle

There will be a strong Gallic flavour to the UEFA Europa League Group D game pitting Newcastle United FC with FC Girondins de Bordeaux, who have a poor recent record in England.

Boasting a substantial Francophone contingent, Newcastle United FC will look to condemn FC Girondins de Bordeaux to a fifth straight defeat in England in UEFA Europa League Group D.

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

• Newcastle's previous 11 games against French opponents ended W2 D4 L5 (W1 D2 L2 at home – W1 D2 L3 in France). They have not won in their last three home games against Ligue 1 sides, but prevailed 4-0 at FC Sochaux-Montbéliard in their most recent encounter with a French club.

• Bordeaux's record in eight games against English sides does not make happy reading: W0 D2 L6 (W0 D2 L2 at home – W0 D0 L4 in England). Their results have been getting progressively worse on English soil, where they have yet to score. They lost 1-0 at Aston Villa FC on their first visit in 1997, then 2-0 at Manchester United FC in 2000, 3-0 at Liverpool FC in 2006 and, most recently, 4-0 at Chelsea FC in 2008. If that dismal pattern continues, Newcastle will win 5-0.

Match background
• Newcastle are on a six-game winning streak at home in Europe, and have not lost at home in eight since going down 2-1 to RC Deportivo La Coruña in the 2005 UEFA Intertoto Cup.

• Bordeaux are unbeaten in four European games and kicked off the group stage with a 4-0 victory against Club Brugge KV – the most emphatic result of matchday one, along with SSC Napoli's 4-0 win against AIK Solna.

• This is Newcastle's first season in European competition since they battled their way through the group stage to the 2006/07 UEFA Cup round of 16, losing out on away goals to AZ Alkmaar.

• The Magpies also featured in the inaugural UEFA Cup group stage in 2004/05.

• Bordeaux are involved in their second UEFA Europa League group stage campaign, having made it through in their only previous appearance in 2007/08.

Team facts
• This is Newcastle's 100th UEFA club competition game; the previous 99 have ended W57 D18 L24.

• Newcastle midfielder Gabriel Obertan knows Bordeaux well: he started his professional career with the club, who picked him up from the French national academy at Clairefontaine. He made his league debut at 17 and scored three goals in 54 Ligue 1 games before moving to Manchester United FC in 2009.

• Other French-born Magpies include Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa, Romain Amalfitano, Demba Ba, Sylvain Marvaux and Mehdi Abeid, while Gaël Bigirimana, Papiss Cissé and Cheick Tioté are all French speakers.

• Cissé and Bordeaux midfielder Ludovic Obraniak were team-mates at FC Metz (2005-07), with the Polish international then playing alongside Cabaye at LOSC Lille (2007-11).

• Bordeaux right-back Matthieu Chalmé also played with Cabaye at Lille (2004-07).

• Bordeaux's David Bellion played for Newcastle's arch-rivals Sunderland AFC (2001-03), and also represented Manchester United (2003-06) and – on loan – West Ham United FC (2005-06). His club-mate Cédric Carrasso also spent a season on loan in England with Crystal Palace FC (2001/02), but the goalkeeper only played one match.

• 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.

• Bordeaux coach Francis Gillot was a defender who spent the bulk of his playing career at RC Lens. He coached at the FC Sochaux-Montbéliard academy before returning to Lens to take joint-charge and then sole command of the first team in 2004. Subsequent spells with Sochaux and (since 2011) Bordeaux have cemented his reputation as a straight-talking coach with a penchant for attacking football.

Last updated: 28/09/12 14.42CET