The Asian Cup kicked off on Saturday, with hosts the United Arab Emirates drawing 1-1 against Bahrain.

Group C kicks off later today (Monday) with Newcastle United involvement in the competition for the first time.

Ki Sung-yeung is expected to start for South Korea as they take on the Philippines in their opening group game.

On Wednesday it is the turn of Group F, with Yoshinori Muto potentially playing for Japan as they take on Turkmenistan.

The group games end on Wednesday 16 January for Ki Sung-yeung and the Thursday 17 January for Yoshinori Muto – but both players/countries are expected to easily qualify from the group stage.

Last 16 knockout matches will be played between 20 January and 22 January, though a major surprise is both countries don’t reach the last eight as a bare minimum, with quarter-final games to be played Thursday 24 January and Friday 25 January.

That would mean even if knocked out at that stage, the first Newcastle match either would be available for would be Spurs away on Saturday 2 February (Newcastle match schedule below).

Newcastle face Man City at home on Tuesday 29 January but with travel and recovery time, it would be a big surprise if Rafa Benitez risked either player.

Not ideal for Newcastle United purposes but good luck to the two players in the Asian Cup, which is the equivalent of the European Championships.

Monday 7 January

South Korea v Philippines

Wednesday 9 January

Japan v Turkmenistan

Friday 11 January

South Korea v Kyrgyzstan

Sunday 13 January

Japan v Oman

Wednesday 16 January

South Korea v China

Thursday 17 January

Japan v Ukbekisatan

After the group stages the knockout games are played:

Last 16 matches are 20-22 January

Quarter finals are 24 and 25 January

Semi finals 28 and 29 January

Final is 1 February

Newcastle United upcoming matches:

Saturday 12 January 2019 (BT Sport)

Chelsea v Newcastle (5.30pm)

Tuesday 15 January or Wednesday 16 January 2019

Blackburn v Newcastle

Saturday 19 January 2019

Newcastle v Cardiff (3pm)

Saturday 26 January 2019 (weekend of)

Potential FA Cup fourth round match

Tuesday 29 January 2019 (BT Sport)

Newcastle v Man City (8pm)

Saturday 2 February 2019 (Sky Sports)

Tottenham v Newcastle (12.30pm)

Monday 11 February 2019 (Sky Sports)

Wolves v Newcastle (8pm)