Goalkeeper Elliot set for rare start

RARE CHANCE ... goalkeeper Rob Elliot.
RARE CHANCE ... goalkeeper Rob Elliot.

ROB Elliot’s in line to start in goal for Newcastle United against Maritimo tonight.

The goalkeeper has made just one appearance for Newcastle United since joining from Charlton Athletic last year.

However, with first-choice Tim Krul injured, and Pardew keen to keep Steve Harper fresh for Sunday’s home game against Norwich City, Elliot is in the frame to play in the Europa League group game at the Estadio does Barreiros.

Elliot – who played in last season’s League Cup win over Nottingham Forest – missed a chunk of pre-season through injury, but the 26-year-old’s fit and ready to play.

“It’s a tough decision with the game on Sunday, and playing Monday night,” Pardew told the Gazette.

“Whether Harps can play three games in a week, I don’t know.

“Rob perhaps deserves to have a look. I’ll probably make a late call as to whether Rob plays in goal for this one.

“He’s been injured. He’s never really had an opportunity to force his claim this season.

“He’s been fit a while now, and I’ll discuss that with the goalkeeping coach, Harps and Robbie, and we’ll make a decision.”

Meanwhile, there will only be one side of the Estadio dos Barreiros open for the game, with the rest of the ground a construction site.

However, Pardew still expects the stadium, which will have a capacity of around 5,000 for the game, to be noisy.

“The scout who came said it was very noisy, and the heat, the lack of air and the noise is going to be a factor,” he said.

The Gazette’s Europa League coverage is in association with UTS Engineering Ltd. http://www.uts-ltd.com/