Nothing Causes More Injuries Than A Plastic Pitch
Alan Pardew says the Luzhniki Stadium's plastic pitch will influence his team selection in Moscow.
The Magpies take on Anzhi Makhachkala in a Europa League Round of 16 tie on Thursday night, and Newcastle (in their history) have never won on a plastic pitch.
The Russian Premier League club aren’t able to play European games at their own home stadium in the Republic of Dagestan due to armed conflict.
So Anzhi's players live and train 1,000 miles away in the Russian capital.
The Luzhniki Stadium’s artificial surface is a challenge to Pardew and his squad, and a long way from the days of Luton, QPR, Preston and Oldham.
Pardew tried to draw a comparison and his players trained on Gosforth RFC’s 4G pitch at their Druid Park home.
Pardew feels the pitch will best suit his “technical” players – but it is well known that it causes players (who are not used to the surface) injuries.
Alan Pardew: “We want to win the game, so I’ll play the strongest team I can for that game.
“It’s a different surface, and it’s going to favour some of our technical players. It’ll be a very technical team that I put out.”
Pardew’s only other previous experience of an artificial surface as United manager was at the Citrus Bowl’s AstroTurf during the club’s pre-season tour of the United States in the summer of 2011.
Newcastle were beaten 1-0 by Orlando – and Ryan Taylor suffered a groin injury.
Source: Newcastle United Mad
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