United hit the Europa League glory trail again on Thursday but face a substantial challenge in the form of Anzhi Makhachkala, who sit second in the Russian Premier League and boast a star-studded squad that has been bankrolled by billionaire tycoon Suleyman Kerimov.
United will need to keep out Anzhi’s £19m January signing Willian, as well as Samuel Eto’o, who has averaged a goal every other game since making a surprise switch to the Dagestan side.
But . they had won all seven of their ‘home’ fixtures in the Europa League, until they met Newcastle last week.
United are building a head of steam of their own in the competition.
Their accomplished defeat of Metalist Kharkiv marked them out as dark horses for further progress, but their priority against the Russian side is to keep it “compact” and to try to withhold their anticipated strikes on the break.
Jonas Gutierrez: “We are at home but this is going to be a really hard game.
“When you go through in this type of competition, you know that any games you play are going to be hard at this stage.
“We have to be really compact and we must know that they are going to try and hit us on the break.
“The most important thing for us again is to not concede. That puts the pressure on us because they can get an away goal and give them a big advantage.”
Source: Newcastle United Mad