Vuckic set to play for Newcastle against Atromitos

GAEL FORCE: Gael Bigirimana
GAEL FORCE: Gael Bigirimana

HARIS Vuckic and Gael Bigirimana are in the frame for Newcastle United’s Europa League visit to Atromitos.

The pair – as well as James Tavernier and Adam Campbell – were set for run-outs against Tottenham Hotspur in the new Professional Development League (PDL) today.

United manager Alan Pardew wants them fully fit ahead of the club’s qualifier against the Greek side on Thursday.

Pardew will make a number of changes for the tie, which comes less than 48 hours before Newcastle’s visit to Chelsea on Saturday.

And Vuckic, Bigirimana and Tavernier could be involved in the first-leg at the Peristeri Stadium in Athens, with Pardew keen to rest a number of key players ahead of the club’s visit to Stamford Bridge.

“Adam will be in the Under-21s – we’ll field a strong side,” Pardew said.

“It’s the start of this Under-21 league. Bigi will play, Vuckic will play, and so will Tav.

“We’ve got three or four big players there. I need them to play, as I might need them this week. I just don’t know.”

The PDL replaces the Premier Reserve League, and the Spurs game is behind-closed-doors at the club’s training ground.

Meanwhile, preparations for Atromitos are already at an advanced stage.

Pardew’s team selection will depend on the outcome of the senior team’s Premier League game against Tottenham this evening (kick-off 5.30pm).

“For us, we’ve got about three or four scenarios,” he said. “We’ll have to wait and see the Tottenham result as to how we approach it.

“One thing we do know is that logistically, we’re all covered.

“We know exactly what we’re doing.

“We’ve got it well-planned, and we’ll try to get the rest for the guys who play on Thursday so they can play on Saturday.”