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Metalist v Newcastle preview

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has resisted the temptation to throw Hatem Ben Arfa back into Europa League action against Metalist Kharkiv on Thursday night.

The French midfielder, who has been sidelined since December by a hamstring injury, is back in training, but Pardew has always had Sunday's Premier League clash with Southampton, rather than the second leg of the Magpies' European tie with Metalist, in mind.

Davide Santon has been rested, while fellow full-back Mathieu Debuchy and striker Yoan Gouffran are ineligible, but January signings Massadio Haidara, Mapou Yanga Mbiwa and Moussa Sissoko are all included.

Last week's 0-0 draw at St James' Park was Metalist's first competitive game of the year and their first match since selling Taison to Shakhtar Donetsk.

January signing Oleg Krasnoperov was an unused substitute in the first leg and he is pushing for a start in Ukraine.

It is expected to be a 40,000 sell-out at Metalist Stadium and home coach Myron Markevich is expecting a tight game, saying: "I think it's level. Our chances to win are equal and our chances to go through are equal."