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Eddie Howe’s pre-season: Opposition, Venues and more.

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Pre-season is vital when it comes to preparing for a new season for all football clubs around the world. It is a time where you can test different tactics, experiment with young and new players and overall get a sense of where your squad is at before the start of the new season.

For Newcastle, they have plenty of games to test the waters and give new signings like Nick Pope and Sven Botman time to get up to scratch before the start of the new Premier League season.

First, they play Gateshead in a behind-closed-doors friendly at the Newcastle United Training Centre on Saturday, 9th July. Gateshead are managed by former Magpies defender Mike Williamson and their side have just been promoted to the National League after winning the National League North.

Eddie Howe’s side will then travel to Austria for a week-long training camp where they will play two games.

The first opposition is TSV 1860 Munich who currently play in the third tier of German football, 3. Liga. The match will take place on Friday, 15th July and will be played at the SaalfeldenArena Burgerau, kick-off is set for 6 pm local time. The former champions of Germany have had success in the past when they finished as runners-up in the European Cup Winners’ Cup in the 1964/65 season. The Toon met with this side in the UEFA Intertoto Cup back in 2001, Newcastle won 6-3 on aggregate across the two legs. One of Munich’s best players, Marcel Bar, scored 21 goals in 37 appearances last season.

Then, Newcastle play Mainz on Monday, 18th July in what will be their third pre-season fixture. The match will be played at the 4,500-capacity Kufstein Arena and will kick-off at 5 pm local time. Mainz, currently managed by Bo Svensson, finished 8th in the Bundesliga last season. The last time the two sides met was in a pre-season game back in the summer of 2017, Mainz came out on top winning 2-1. Some of their best players include Jonathan Burkardt who managed to bag himself 11 goals and 3 assists last season as well as Moussa Niakhate who scored 8 goals and assisted 5 times.

The Toon then have eight days to prepare for their next pre-season fixture as they travel to Portugal to play Benfica at the Estadio da Luiz for the Eusebio Cup. The match will take place on Tuesday, 26th July and will kick-off at 8 pm local time. Benfica finished third in the Portugal Liga Nos last season. It’s been 9 years since the sides last met in the Europa League quarter-finals when Papiss Cisse’s goal in the second leg wasn’t enough and the Magpies exited the competition losing 4-2 on aggregate. Benfica were knocked out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals by Liverpool last season and some of their best players include Rafa Silva who came out with 23 goal contributions last season and Alex Grimaldo who scored 5 and assisted 5 from left-back last season.

To finish pre-season the Toon then face a double-header at St James’ Park. The first game played on Friday, 29th July will be against Atalanta. It is expected that Howe will split his first-team squad across the two fixtures and play two completely different teams. Atalanta finished 8th in Serie A last season and exited the Europa League quarter-finals following a 3-1 aggregate defeat to RB Leipzig. Mario Pasalic is one of their best players and had a very successful 2021/22 season which saw him earn 20 goal contributions from centre midfield in the league. The match will kick-off at 7:45 pm in St James’ Park

Newcastle will then face Spanish side Athletic Bilbao, just a week before the first game of the Premier League season against Nottingham Forest to finish their pre-season. Bilbao finished 8th in La Liga last season and were close to cup success, following a 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final. Inaki Williams who hasn’t missed a single game for the Spanish side in over six years is a threat up-front and captain Iker Muniain will also be a danger for the Toon following last season where he managed 10 assists and 4 goals.

Ticket information for these games are to be confirmed soon.

So what do you think of the pre-season fixtures and how many wins will Eddie Howe’s side manage in what promises to be an exciting season ahead.

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Saudi Arabia wants its investors to own Manchester United

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North East Updates - Breaking News

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.

 

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.

 

It follows the Manchester United board announcing that they are open to a sale of the club.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisalstated he would be keen on Ronaldo signing for a Saudi Pro League after the World Cup, with the 37-year-old a free agent following a controversial interview and exit to Manchester United earlier this week..

 

“Who wouldn’t want him to play in their league?” “He’s a role model to a lot of young players – him and Messi.”

 

Sky news are reporting – It is the availability of United – after the Glazers announced plans for a potential sale – and Ronaldo that is interesting Prince Abdulaziz.

 

What are your thoughts on this – join the conversation on our Facebook page.

 

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Which Newcastle Players Are Going To The World Cup?

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Newcastle

The FIFA World Cup in Qatar gets underway next week and here are all the Newcastle players involved in the tournament

Callum Wilson (England)

Newcastle striker Callum Wilson is a player that has consistently shown the quality to earn a spot in an England squad at a major tournament but has sadly had his chances diminished by injuries in the past.

However, Wilson is currently injury free and is on the plane to Qatar! The Coventry City academy graduate averages a goal every 130 minutes in the Premier League this season, which is the second-best return of all English players behind Harry Kane.

The 30-year-old may have to bide his time for an opportunity due to England captain Harry Kane being the first-choice striker. That said, Wilson gives Gareth Southgate a great alternative should England find themselves chasing a game.

Kieran Trippier (England)

Gareth Southgate has always been very fond of Kieran Trippier’s abilities and what he brings to a team. For example, in Euro 2020 Southgate opted to play Trippier at left-back ahead of a more natural option in Ben Chilwell due to the 32-year-old’s experience and leadership qualities.

Trippier brings bags of experience at major tournaments after reaching the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup and the final of Euro 2020.

With injuries at right-back to the likes of Reece James and uncertainty around the fitness of Kyle Walker, Trippier could start at right wing-back in England’s World Cup opener against Iran.

Nick Pope (England)

The last player to complete The Magpies’ England trio is Nick Pope. Toon’s No.1 has been outstanding since arriving from Burnley in the Summer and has earnt his place in England’s World Cup squad.

Pope has the joint most clean sheets in the Premier League this season (6) alongside Manchester City goalkeeper, Ederson and fellow England goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

It remains to be seen if Gareth Southgate picks Pope to be his first-choice goalkeeper in Qatar ahead of Jordan Pickford and Aaron Ramsdale. Pope started both of England’s last games in the Nations League back in September.

Bruno Guimarães (Brazil)

Moving to South America and the favourites to win the competition, Brazil. Bruno Guimarães has been one of Newcastle’s stand-out players this season and has deservedly earned himself a spot in Brazil’s very competitive World Cup Squad.

Guimarães has statistically been the best midfielder in the Premier League so far this season and will be hoping his performances have done enough to earn him a start against Serbia in Brazil’s opening fixture.

That said, Brazil manager Adenor Leonardo Bacchi has predominantly played with a midfield two of Manchester United duo, Casemiro and Fred at the base of the Brazilian midfield.

Fabian Schär (Switzerland)

The Magpies’ centre-back has been in great form alongside Sven Botman at the heart of Newcastle’s defence this season and will be hoping to continue his form in Qatar.

Schär has some tough competition in his position in the form of Manchester City centre-back Manuel Akanji and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Nico Elvedi.

Switzerland find themselves in the same group as tournament favourites Brazil, which will see Schär reunited with Toon teammate Bruno Guimarães in Gameweek 2.

Who didn’t make the squad?

The most surprising player to not make their country’s squad is Sven Botman. The former Lille centre-back has been a major part of why Newcastle has the Premier League’s best defence so far this campaign.

Louis van Gaal has a great pool of centre-backs available to him and opted for the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt, Stefan de Vrij and Nathan Ake over Botman.

Another Toon player with World Cup disappointment is Joelinton, who has failed to follow Bruno Guimarães on the plane to Qatar.

Joelinton has been a revelation under Eddie Howe following his remarkable transformation from a striker to a box-to-box midfielder. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for Joelinton this year.

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Who do you think will win the World Cup?

Which Newcastle player will be the best performer?

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What We Learnt (Spurs 1-2 Newcastle)

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deadline day

Newcastle United were victorious at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium yesterday, winning 2-1 and now sit fourth in the Premier League. This is the first time they’ve been there at this stage of the season in 10 years.

 

Goals from Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron were enough to scare away any chances of a second-half Spurs comeback. That’s six goals for Miggy in what is now his best-ever season for goals in black and white.

 

With 21 points, just five behind Manchester City and seven behind current league leaders Arsenal, the Toon are looking better than ever, but what did the victory yesterday tell us?

 

Toon are charging for Europe

 

If you didn’t believe it at the start of the season you should now. Eddie Howe has transformed Newcastle into a team with a winning mentality with a real sense of togetherness in a squad who are willing to battle for one another, week in and week out.

 

Very few teams will travel to London this season and manage to come away with a point, never mind three when playing Spurs. Not only this game, however, but Man City (3-3), Liverpool (2-1) and Brentford (5-1) have also shown that Howe and his side mean business this season and are willing to go toe to toe with some of the very best teams, coaches and players in the world. 

 

In his first signing interview, Sven Botman said, “Newcastle wants to reach the top and the top is in the league and, at the end, maybe in Europe.” Maybe he didn’t specifically mean this season but now he and the rest of his teammates should believe that they have a real chance of playing European football next season.

 

Almiron transformation shouldn’t go unnoticed

 

Almiron made 30 appearances last season in the league and finished with just one goal and no assists. Now, after just 12 games and six goals, the Paraguayan is already on course to smash his previous goal-scoring records which have seen him accumulate nine Premier League goals over the course of four seasons. 

 

Loved by the fans and with the full support of his teammates, it can only get better for the Paraguayan at this point. His goal against Tottenham showed the dribbling, flair and finishing quality he withholds, something that Steve Bruce and Rafael Benitez could never get out of him.

 

Eddie Howe must be awarded credit for this development, as with the current budget the club has, he could’ve easily found a replacement in the summer. But, just like Joelinton, Miggy has cemented his spot in Newcastle’s starting eleven and is proving every week why he deserves to be there.

 

Wilson & Burn should be considered by Southgate 

 

On TalkSport recently, Neil Warnock warned Gareth Southgate saying his loyalty to players might be his downfall and said Dan Burn is “Mr Steady Eddie” referring to his versatility, being able to play left-back or centre-back.

 

Burn started 28 Premier League games last season and this season has 11 out of 12. His consistent dominating performances in Newcastle’s back line have put him into the conversation for a first-ever England call-up and I don’t think many would disagree. With John Stoned injured, Harry Maguire and Tyrone Mings not in good form and not getting regular game time, Gareth Southgate’s defensive decisions should now be a lot more challenging.

 

Callum Wilson has proved yet again his abilities as a top Premier League striker. His goal against Spurs not only put him in the headlines over England captain Harry Kane but also made it four in eight for the English man this season who has averaged 2.8 shots per game with an average scoring frequency of 162 minutes. 

 

With no clear-cut backup striker to Kane, is Wilson ahead of Ivan Toney and Tammy Abraham in the race to be England’s number two striker?

 

So, what do you think? Do Newcastle have a serious chance at European football next season, can Almiron stay at his best and should Wilson and Burn be considered for a World Cup call-up?

 

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