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Newcastle vs. Benfica, Leg 2: Lineups & Live Match Thread

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Newcastle have a tough task ahead of them at St James' Park as they must overcome a 1-3 deficit to advance.

Michael Steele

Newcastle United have a tough task ahead of them Thursday at St James' Park as they must overcome a 1-3 deficit to advance to the Europa League Semifinals. They'll face a Benfica squad that took advantage of two dire Newcastle mistakes in the first leg in Portugal, and who haven't failed to score in quite some time. That away goal for Newcastle may well be their lifeline, but they must still find a way to score at least 2 goals. They'll be buoyed by the return of Hatem Ben Arfa from a hamstring injury, and it is speculated that he will start the match on the bench. On the other hand, Steven Taylor is a doubt after suffering a knee injury in training on Wednesday. Soon we will find out if Alan Pardew plans to start Mike Williamson or James Perch in his stead. Benfica have a full squad to pick from.

NUFC: Krul | Simpson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Williamson, Haidara | Cabaye, Anita | Bigirimana, Sissoko, Jonas | Cisse
Subs: Elliot, Perch, Gosling, Marveaux, Ben Arfa, Campbell, Shola

Benfica: Artur | Luisao, Garay, Almeida, Gaitan | Matic, Perez, Lima | John, Salvio, Melgarego
Subs: Lopes, Pereira, Jardel, Aimar, Gomes, Cardozo, Rodrigo