SYLVAIN Marveaux will make his seasonal debut against Atromitos tonight – ahead of an even bigger test at Stamford Bridge.
And Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has already pencilled in the winger for a role against Champions League-winners Chelsea less than 48 hours later.
Marveaux missed Saturday’s 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur because of a “family issue”.
However, the 26-year-old was able to travel with his team-mates to Greece for tonight’s Europa League qualifier in Athens.
And Marveaux – who impressed in pre-season – will start at the Peristeri Stadium, though Pardew hopes to be able to bring him off in time to keep him fresh enough to be involved at Stamford Bridge.
“Sylvain had a family issue,” Pardew said.
“He was in real contention for Saturday, trust me, and he’ll be in contention for Chelsea.
“He’s an important player. Hopefully, I can take him off the pitch, as he’s got a real chance of playing on Saturday.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle are expected to be backed by several hundred fans at the 10,000-capacity Peristeri Stadium.
“I’m just hoping we put in a performance that they’ll be delighted with,” added Pardew.
“We’re coming to win, and if we can get a victory, that ain’t going to be an issue.
“What we don’t want is to go over to them at the end of the game with a two-goal deficit, and a mountain to climb.
“We’re very conscious we’ve got to get this game right.”