Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has pitch poser for Anzhi Makhachkala

SELECTION ISSUE: Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew
SELECTION ISSUE: Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew
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ALAN Pardew says the Luzhniki Stadium’s plastic pitch will influence his team selection in Moscow.

Newcastle United take on Anzhi Makhachkala in a Europa League Round of 16 tie on Thursday night.

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.

And Anzhi – whose players live and train 1,000 miles away in the Russian capital – instead use the 80,000-capacity venue for Europa League fixtures.

The Luzhniki Stadium’s artificial surface – FieldTurf is installed – is a challenge to Pardew and his squad, who yesterday trained on Gosforth RFC’s 4G pitch at their Druid Park home.

Pardew feels the pitch will best suit his “technical” players – and he says he will name a strong team with this in mind.

“We want to win the game, so I’ll play the strongest team I can for that game,” Pardew told the Gazette.

“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.”

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