The Newcastle team v Wolfsburg has been revealed for the fifth friendly of pre-season.
Fans had wondered with only 11 days and two friendlies before the Premier League kicks off, whether Rafa Benitez would play his first team?
The 11 players named v Wolfsburg look very close to it, in my opinion.
Clearly Gayle will play against Spurs and not Mitrovic – but elsewhere it looks pretty much what you would guess Rafa will see as his team to start the season.
Lascelles has missed the last three friendlies and with only 45 minutes so far, it must be likely he will remain on the bench on 13 August, especially with Lejeune having impressed.
On the wing, no surprise if Atsu is relied upon instead of Murphy, especially up against Tottenham first match.
Yedlin would surely have started the season but after picking up a hamstring injury on Saturday, it looks like Manquillo will be relied upon v Spurs.
This is who Rafa Benitez starts with:
Elliot, Manquillo, Lejeune, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey (c), Hayden, Atsu, Pérez, Mitrović
and the Subs:
Darlow, Gámez, Lascelles, Mbemba, Aarons, Colback, Merino, Murphy, De Jong, Diamé, Gayle
The full first team and reserve/Under 23 pre-season schedules are as follows so far –
The first team friendlies:
Friday 14 July – Hearts 1 Newcastle 2
Saturday 22 July – Preston 1 Newcastle 1
Wednesday 26 July – Bradford 0 Newcastle 4
Saturday 29 July – Mainz 2 Newcastle 1
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 0 Newcastle 3
Tuesday 25 July – Whitley Bay 0 Newcastle 0
Thursday 27 July – Celtic 1 Newcastle 2
Saturday 29 July – AZ Alkmaar v Newcastle