Forgotten man Nile Ranger will get a chance to prove his credentials in Bordeaux on Thursday night as manager Alan Pardew hands him a Europa League start.

The 21-year-old striker, whose off-field antics and persistent lateness had seen him fall dramatically in the pecking order at St James' Park, will start at the Stade Chaban-Delmas as the Magpies attempt to snatch back top spot in Group D in the final round of fixtures.

Ranger, whose last senior start for the club came against Aston Villa in April 2010, was among a party of 20 which belatedly left Tyneside on Wednesday evening after heavy snow kept them grounded for more than three hours at Newcastle airport. Pardew said: "Nile will start. I think he's probably the story of the last two or three months in terms of a positive."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: