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Dec, 6, 2012

Bordeaux give young stars their chance

Bordeaux coach Francis Gillot will field a youthful line-up at home to Newcastle in the Europa League on Thursday, with his side's place in the knockout stages already assured.

Although Polish international Ludovic Obraniak would have missed out due to injury, Gillot has left a large group of other first-choice players, including goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso, left-back Benoit Tremoulinas and top scorer Yoan Gouffran, out of his 16-man squad.

With captain Jaroslav Plasil also rested, creative midfielder Gregory Sertic will lead the side at the Stade Chaban-Delmas, where a draw would mean Les Girondins finish as Group D winners.

"I want everyone to be ready to play," Gillot, whose side begin a run of four matches in 11 days against the Magpies, explained.

"Finishing top of the group doesn't necessarily mean you'll get an easier draw. I want to blend experience with youth, and I expect a lot from the game as I'm not closing the door to anyone. Youngsters who have never done so will start, others will come off the bench."

But Newcastle may have to contend with Mali international forward Cheick Tidiane Diabate, whose muscular style will pose problems for their back four.

The 24-year-old is determined to emerge from the shadow of Gouffran, who has been Bordeaux's main goal threat this season.

"I want to be the pride of Africa like Eto'o, Drogba, Adebayor and Kanoute. I think I can get to their level," Diabate, who has scored 25 times in 49 professional starts, said.

"I would like to play more. Honestly, it's something that annoys me. But I understand the coach has put a team in place, and it's working well."

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