Newcastle v Marseille
Sir Bobby admitted he had “grave concerns” about the fitness of six first-team regulars, among them Craig Bellamy, Kieron Dyer, Jermaine Jenas, Titus Bramble and Shola Ameobi.
Better news for Robson comes in the form of Lee Bowyer, who is back in the squad after completing his suspension – although he too is struggling with a hamstring injury.
Robson is looking to secure Newcastle their first silverware in 35 years. Despite the mounting injury concerns,
“The club has been striving for this for years and now we’re on the brink of a European final, but the next step is the most difficult,” he admitted.
“We know how much it means to everyone in the region. I just hope we can give them a memorable evening – and that means a victory.”
Newcastle captain Alan Shearer is still looking to win his first trophy at Newcastle and the askjed whether he would prefer a place in next season’s Champions League or a win this year’s UEFA Cup, the former England striker opted for the latter.
“In an ideal world I’d like both, but if you pushed me, I’d say silverware. We play for medals. We’ve been without silverware a long time, and now we can change it.”
“Our priority has to be to keep a clean sheet,” he said.
“We always fancy ourselves to score home or away, but if we could keep a clean sheet in the first game it would give us a great chance of going through.”
Marseille coach Jose Anigo wasable to rest some key players for Sunday’s 2-1 win against Lille. However, former Fulham striker Steve Marlet, who scored at the weekend, fractured a bone in his back and is a doubt. Egyptain international striker Mido is also sidelined with a leg injury
“It has been ten years since Marseille won anything, so this competition is really important for us,” said Anigo.
“The worst thing would be to fight all this way and not make it to the final. So we will give it everything to make sure we do. I’m sure Newcastle will do the same.”