SYLVAIN Marveaux is looking for Newcastle United to smooth their passage in the Europa League – by beating Bordeaux.
Alan Pardew’s side face the French club at the Stade Chaban-Delmas tonight (ESPN TV KO 6pm).
Newcastle won the meeting between the two sides at St James’s Park in early October.
However, the team which takes to the field for the return fixture will be less experienced that that which triumphed 3-0 on Tyneside.
Pardew will make a significant number of changes for the club’s final group game given the need to avoid more injuries to key personnel ahead of Monday night’s Premier League game at Fulham.
And Bordeaux – who lead Group D by a point – are odds-on favourites to win.
Both teams are already assured of place in the competition’s Round of 32, which kicks off in February.
But the group winner won’t face a team which has dropped out of the Champions League.
“I think it will be a tough game,” Marveaux said.
“They want to be first in the group like us.
“We’ll prepare well for this game. It’s tough because we have a lot of injuries. We have to prepare for this game, and the one at Fulham.
“It will be hard, but we can win.
“We know we’ve qualified, and if we can get the first place it will be better for us.
“It’s important to be first in this group. If you’re second, you can play against a team from the Champions League.”
Former France Under-21 international Marveaux, signed on a free transfer from Rennes last year, is looking forward to seeing some familiar faces on the field at Bordeaux’s 34,000-capacity home.
“They have good players – I know a couple of them very well,” added the 26-year-old, who impressed in Monday night’s 3-0 domestic win over Wigan Athletic.
“For me, it will be a pleasure to go back to France with Newcastle and play a French team.
“I’m glad I can go to France and play against one or two of my friends.”
United are unbeaten in the seven European matches they have played so far this season, but the Bordeaux game arguably represents the club’s toughest test yet on the continent.
And Marveaux feels the Francis Gillot’s side, sixth in Ligue 1 after their 2-2 home draw against Sochaux at the weekend, will have a score to settle after their defeat in England.
“The atmosphere isn’t the same as it is in England, so it won’t be a difficult atmosphere for us,” said Marveaux.
“But they have good players, and I think it’s a hard game.
“We play away against this French team. When you play every week against an English team, you know what to expect.
“I guess a French team is different. They lost against us 3-0, so maybe they would like to get revenge.”