Date: 21st August 2006 at 12:56pm
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… as they take a sudden dip in form just at the right time, as United prepare to face them on Thursday at St James’ Park.

The Latvia champions still top their league, with 40 points from 17 games, but the shock defeat to FHK Metalurgs can hardly put them in a good frame of mind on their travels to Tyneside.

Newcastle won the first leg 1-0 in Latvia with a goal from defender Titus Bramble, his fourth in European competition putting him level with Toon hero Peter Beardsley.

For those who cannot get to St James’ on Thusday, the match with Ventspils will be shown on Channel 5.