EUROPA LEAGUE LIVE: Young Boys v Liverpool and Maritimo v Newcastle – as it happens
16:47 GMT, 20 September 2012
Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Europa League as Liverpool, Newcastle and Tottenham all begin their group stage campaigns. The Reds travel to Switzerland's Young Boys at 6pm, while Newcastle visit Portugal's Maritimo at the same time. Kicking off after at 8.05pm is Tottenham when they host Lazio at White Hart Lane.
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17.45: Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is without his two star Senegalese strikers. Papiss Cisse has withdrawn from the squad through illness, and Demba Ba has been left in Tyneside.
There has been talk of Ba's growing disillusioned at Newcastle after being played out of position or left on the bench. I wouldn't worry too much though, as a number of other senior players have been rested for their weekend clash against Norwich.
17.40: So we're just 20 minutes away from KO in the early two games between Maritimo and Newcastle and Young Boys and Liverpool. Both Premier League teams travelling away in their Europa League openers.
Both will be expected to win their games, but anything's possible in this old game…
17.37: In fact speaking of those two clubs, they have had one player in common over the years who sticks in the memory. Read Matt Barlow's recollection of one Paul Gascoigne's trip to Rome all those years ago…
17.35: So Spurs are kicking off a little later on at 20.05. Should be a tough opener for Villas-Boas in the Europa League with his new club.
The Portuguese boss has some pedigree in the competition, mind. He did win it with Porto in some style two years ago.
17.32: So here are the full Liverpool teams… A pretty inexperienced bunch including a couple of debutants.
Young Boys: Wolfli, Sutter, Veskovac, Ojala, Raimondi, Zverotic, Spycher, Zarate, Farnerud, Nuzzolo, Bobadilla.
Subs: Benito, Gonzalez, Vitkieviez, Costanzo, Schneuwly, Frey, Lecjaks.
Liverpool: Jones, Wisdom, Carragher, Coates, Jose Enrique, Henderson, Sahin, Fernandez Saez, Assaidi, Downing, Pacheco.
Subs: Gulacsi, Wilson, Borini, Sterling, Shelvey, Yesil,
17.28: So we've already had a thrilling week of European football. Thirsty for more Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal were all in action as goals a plenty were scored in the first games of the group stages.
Hopefully someone can pull out something special in these games. It'll take something REALLY good to better Oscar's peach last night against Juventus. If you haven't seen it already, get watching. Goal of the season so far for me.
17.22: Here's some interesting news: Joey Barton will start for Marseille! The QPR bad boy is on loan, and hasn't played in a competitive match since being sent off after a series of offences in Rangers' game against Manchester City on the final day of last season. Watch this space…
The French side will be taking on Turkish team Fenerbahce. Hostile atmosphere is a certainty. Keep your cool, Joey.
17.18: …And Liverpool's starting XI to face Young Boys:
Jones, Enrique, Coates, Carragher, Wisdom, Henderson, Sahin, Suso, Downing, Assaidi, Pacheco.
Remember me Joey Barton starts in Marseille's midfield against Fenerbahce
17.15: Here are the teams for Maritimo v Newcastle:
Maritimo: Salin, Briguel, Joao Guilherme, Roberge, Luis Olim, Rafael Miranda, Joao Luiz, Heldon, David Simao, Sami, Danilo Dias.
Subs: Lima De Oliveira, Joao Diogo, Marcio Rosario, Igor Rossi, Goncalo Abreu, Fidelis, Adilson.
Newcastle: Elliot, Perch, Williamson, Steven Taylor, Santon, Obertan, Bigirimana, Gosling, Amalfitano, Shola Ameobi, Vuckic.
Subs: Harper, Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Ferguson, Tavernier, Abeid, Campbell.
17.10: So Welcome one and all to our coverage of the Europa League.
Liverpool will be looking for a win after a rocky start in the Premier League and Spurs have a tricky one against Lazio. Newcastle, meanwhile, will be hoping to snatch a win away at Maritimo. Teams on the way.
European assault: Liverpool (left) and Newcastle open up their Europa League group stage campaigns