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Marítimo set stiff test at Newcastle

CS Marítimo must end Newcastle United FC's impressive unbeaten home streak in the UEFA Europa League if the Portuguese side are to retain their ambitions in this season's competition.

Marítimo coach Pedro Martins needs to mastermind a win at Newcastle
Marítimo coach Pedro Martins needs to mastermind a win at Newcastle ©Getty Images

Newcastle United FC can secure a round of 32 place with a game to spare as they take on back markers CS Marítimo in UEFA Europa League Group D.

• A win will guarantee Newcastle a place in the round of 32. Only a win will keep Marítimo's hopes of reaching the knockout phase alive.

Previous meetings
• Newcastle's Shola Ameobi and Marítimo's Valentin Roberge both hit the woodwork as the sides' first meeting ended in a 0-0 draw on matchday one.

• Marítimo's four previous games against English sides were all against Leeds United AFC, who they met in the first round of two UEFA Cup campaigns, in 1998/99 and 2001/02. Leeds won both ties – the former on penalties – but in terms of individual games, Marítimo's record was W2 D0 L2 (W2 D0 L0 at home – W0 D0 L2 in England).

• Marítimo have yet to score a goal in England, having lost 1-0 and 3-0 on their two previous visits.

• Three games against Sporting Clube de Portugal represented the sum total of Newcastle's experience of Portuguese opposition prior to matchday one. They drew 1-1 against Sporting in Lisbon in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup group stage, but lost out to the same side in the quarter-finals, winning 1-0 at home then going down 4-1 in the Portuguese capital.

Match background
• Newcastle are unbeaten in six European games this season – three home wins (during which they have not conceded) and three away draws.

• Newcastle have won their last eight UEFA competititon home games and are unbeaten in the last ten since a 2-1 loss to RC Deportivo La Coruña in the 2005 UEFA Intertoto Cup.

• The Magpies are unbeaten in 24 home games in this competition (W19 D5) since a 1-0 loss to AS Monaco FC in the 1996/97 UEFA Cup semi-finals.

• Marítimo have lost both of their Group D away games without scoring.

Team facts
• Marítimo's Brazilian defender Márcio Rosario turns 29 on the eve of the match.

• Marítimo have had three notable British players: Glaswegian striker Ian Wallace (1986-87), who once played for Newcastle's local rivals Sunderland AFC, Northern Ireland defender Colin Hill (1986-87) and striker John Richards (1983-85), who was on the losing side with Wolverhampton Wanderers FC in the first UEFA Cup final in 1972.

• Newcastle's Portuguese playing connections include centre-back Hélder Cristóvão, who spent a season on loan at St James' Park in 1999/2000 and midfielder Hugo Viana (2002-05).

• 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.

• A defensive midfielder, Marítimo coach Pedro Martins reached a career peak with a three-year spell at Sporting (1995-98), later representing Boavista FC and CD Santa Clara. He moved into coaching in the lower leagues, replacing Mitchell van der Gaag at Marítimo in 2010 following a spell as the club's youth team boss.

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