Feyenoord v Newcastle
Dynamo Kyiv v Juventus
Newcastle’s hopes of reaching the second phase of the Champions League may be scuppered by Juventus decision to field a weakened team against Dynamo Kyiv.
The Premiership side need to beat the UEFA Cup holders Feyenoord and hope the Italian side, who are assured of qualification, avoid defeat in Kiev to progress.
However, Juve coach Marcello Lippi has confirmed that striker Alessandro Del Piero, defender Lilian Thuram, Ciro Ferrara, Alessio Tacchinardi and Czech midfielder Pavel Nedved will not make the trip to the Ukraine.
The Italian side will also travel without the injured David Trezeguet, Paulo Montero and Igor Tudor.
Lippi will replace the rested or injured players with youth team players Mirante, Cassani, Paro and Sorrentini. Reserve keeper Chimenti will replace Buffon with Chilean striker Marcelo Salas up-front.
Juve will face an almost full strength Kiev side. Croatian defender, Goran Sabilic is their only doubt for the game, but striker Olekseyi Melaschenko and defender Peev will both be in the starting eleven having passed fitness tests.
Newcastle manager Bobby Robson was not surprised by the Italian’s decision and accepted that he would have done the same thing himself.
“I was hoping they wouldn’t do that, but they’re through and that’s what other big clubs would do in that situation. we just have to accept it”, he said.
Robson is concentrating on defeating Feyenoord.
He is considering risking forward Craig Bellamy in an attempt to unlock the Dutch side’s defence.
The Welsh star has not played in Newcastle’s last six competitive fixtures, following a knee injury and has only recently returned to training.
Robson said: “We have one last chance to stay in this competition and it could well be the risk is worth it.”