GABRIEL Obertan will be given his chance to translate his training ground form on to the pitch at the Estadio dos Barreiros tonight.
The Newcastle United winger’s only start so far this season came in the first leg of the club’s Europa League qualifier against Atromitos.
Obertan was ready to come on at Goodison Park late in Monday night’s 2-2 draw against Everton, only for Gael Bigirimana to instead be pressed into action by manager Alan Pardew.
Pardew admitted after the game that Obertan – who has played in the Champions League with former club Manchester United – was “upset” not to make it on to the pitch.
However, the 23-year-old – who Alan Pardew says has been “flying” in training – will get his chance against Martimo in the club’s first Europa League group stage game.
“Obertan is upset,” said Pardew. “He’s been absolutely flying in training, but he didn’t get on the pitch at Everton.
“It’s our job to put them in the right time.”
Pardew, serving the first game of a two-match touchline ban for his push on a linesman in the season-opener against Tottenham Hotspur, made the changes from the directors’ box at Goodison Park.
“I like to think I would have made the same changes on the side of the pitch,” he said.
“I don’t like being in the stand, but I’m stuck there because it is my own fault. I’m there for my own folly, so I can’t complain.”
The Gazette’s Europa League coverage is in association with UTS Engineering Ltd. http://www.uts-ltd.com/