First leg 0-0

Newcastle travel to Marseille for the their UEFA Cup semi-final second leg in good heart, despite the loss of several key players through injury.

Rather than dwell upon the absentees, Magpies boss, Sir Bobby Robson, has accentuated the positive as the club go in search of their first silverware for 35 years.

“It is an ordeal. It is a task but we must not be afraid,” Robson said.

“We have to go for it, we have nothing to lose. Our enthusiasm must be spot on, and our commitment cannot be in question. It cannot be in doubt.

Among those missing tonight are Jonathan Woodgate, Craig Bellamy, Kieron Dyer, Jermaine Jenas and Andy Griffin. However, Ronbson has been boosted by the return of Lee Bowyer after a hamstring injury.

“We have to be positive about it. Our motivation has to be high, our work ethic must be exceptionally high.”

Newcastle travel to France with the score tied at 0-0 after the first leg.

Robson added: “We know what we are playing for, we are playing for the chance to reach the final of a European competition.

“But we need to score a goal and to do that we must play better in Marseille than we did in the second half at Manchester City.”

Marseille manager Jose Anigo, meanwhile, has a full squad to select from and admitted he was confident of progressing to the final.

“I will be able to field my strongest side,” he said.

“I had a long meeting with the team this morning and I have never seen a group of players so focused and so determined. I’m expecting a very close game, that’s for sure, but I think we have the mental strength that is required to win.”

“We have more goalscoring potential with Steve (Marlet) in the side and that is important because we are going to play a positive game,” Anigo said.

“Against Liverpool we made the mistake of playing cautiously in the early stages and we only woke up after they scored. This time we have to take the game to Newcastle from the off.”

Probable teams:
Marseille: Barthez; Ferreira, Beye, Hemdani, Meite, Dos Santos; Flamini, N’Diaye, Meriem; Drogba, Marlet
Newcastle: Given; Hughes, O’Brien, Bramble, Bernard; Ambrose, Viana, Speed, Robert; Ameobi, Shearer