It is Preston v Newcastle this afternoon and it has been announced that away fans can pay on the day.

The first friendly of the season at Hearts, saw Rafa Benitez use 22 players in the 2-1 win, interesting to see if the Newcastle boss gives just as many a run out today.

Whilst the first team are off to Lancashire, the Newcastle United Under 23s (reserves) make the short trip to Gateshead’s International Stadium, so get yourself along there if you can make it. Prices are £10 for adults, £5 OAPS and youths, with only £1 for juniors.

Preston midfielder Ben Pringle (from Newcastle) is looking forward to the game:

“That’s the reason we’re playing these games, it’s easy to do it against Accrington, Stockport and Morecambe – no disrespect to them – but especially in the league we’re playing in, we’ve got to be brave to get on the ball and you can’t be hiding.

“You have to get the ball, want it and move it and play like we’ve just been playing.

“We’ll face a different test against Newcastle and Burnley – that’s what you want, you want to play those games.

“Over the course of the season you’re going to face different challenges and it’s how you react to each one.

“The gaffer (Alex Neil) has told us if a team does ‘that’, how he wants us to play and if a team does ‘this’, how to change it. I’m sure as the season goes on we can adapt differently, with the personnel and the formation; he’s very straightforward and he knows exactly what he wants. Explaining it to the players is very straightforward, which is good.”

The first team friendlies:

Friday 14 July – Hearts 1 Newcastle 2

Saturday 22 July – Preston away 3pm

Wednesday 26 July – Bradford away 7.30pm

Saturday 29 July – Mainz away 4pm local time (3pm UK time)

Wednesday 2 August – Wolfsburg away 4pm local time (3pm UK time)

Sunday 6 August – Hellas Verona home 3pm

Under 23/Reserves pre-season friendlies:

Monday 17 July – Darlington 1 Newcastle 2

Saturday 22 July – Gateshead (at International Stadium)

Thursday 27 July – Celtic (at Whitby Town)

Saturday 29 July – AZ Alkmaar or Whitby (at Whitby Town)

Tuesday 1 August – Ashington (at Woodhorn Lane)