NUFC pleased with Europa draw

Newcastle United have said that they are pleased with their Europa League tie with Russia's Anzhi Makhachkala.

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Pardew: "Anzhi have different agenda"

Alan Pardew says tonight's UEFA Europa League opponents Anzhi Makhachkala have a different agenda to Newcastle United in terms of their recruitment policy.

Bankrolled by billionaire owner Suleyman Kerimov, the Russian club have signed a host of established stars in recent years. The most notable being Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o from Inter Milan for 28 million euros (£24 million) in August 2011.

In contrast, the Magpies have preferred to invest in younger talent from overseas.

Speaking ahead of this evening's last-16 first-leg, Pardew said their opponents have stars who "have been world class players and now are trying to take a new club forward."

He added: "We're all about young players coming in on the up who haven't achieved that greatness yet, and that makes it an intriguing game."

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Ben Arfa on the plane

Hatem Ben Arfa Credit: ITV

Winger Hatem Ben Arfa was on the plane when Newcastle headed for Moscow today ahead of the Europa League last-16 first-leg clash with Anzhi Makhachkala which is live on ITV 4

The 25-year-old Frenchman, who has not played since tearing a hamstring during the 2-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at Fulham on December 10, was included among a party of 19.

There were no places for injured duo Tim Krul or Fabricio Coloccini, nor the ineligible Mathieu Debuchy and Yoan Gouffran, but youngsters Jak Alnwick and Adam Campbell were among the party

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