Two weeks ago, Newcastle announced a scheduled “warm-weather training camp” to take place in Saudi Arabia during the World Cup break. Today, the Magpies have made official another WC-break friendly game, this one to be played on home turf on Dec. 17 when the team will have already returned to England.
Newcastle will be facing Spanish Rayo Vallecano at St James’ Park next December, on Saturday 17th while getting back in shape for the return to the Premier League a week after that on Boxing Day.
Rayo will come to Newcastle to face the Magpies in a friendly game scheduled to kick off at 12.30pm GMT. Newcastle announced the price for the tickets ranging between “£20 for adults and £10 for concessions”, and those being available for purchase from today on.
This game will be the second and last for Newcastle during the World Cup break after facing Saudi side Al-Hilal in Riyadh on Dec. 8 before leaving Saudi Arabia on Dec. 10 and returning home.
Rayo Vallecano will bring some familiar faces to SJP as they have former Magpie Florian Lejeune in their squad while also boasting legendary Premier League striker Radamel Falcao and once-upon-time Red Devils prospect Bebe.
With Callum Wilson in contention to become Harry Kane’s understudy in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad, the Magpies might have three players flying to Qatar with the English contingent in a couple of weeks: Wilson, Kieran Trippier, and Nick Pope.
Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell, who got injured midweek in a Champions League game and is expected to miss the World Cup, could open the door for Dan Burn to make the cut, too.
On top of that, Bruno is a lock for the Brazilian team and Joelinton seems to at least be in consideration for the Canarinha. Both Sven Botman (Netherlands) and Fabian Schar (Switzerland) should be present in Qatar, too. Freshest Magpie-signee Garang Kuol has also been confirmed as part of the Aussie contingent.
The rest of the players should be available for Eddie Howe to keep in shape and play those two aforementioned friendlies.
Asked about the plans for the World Cup break in Friday’s press conference, Howe said that “we’re trying to organize a mini pre-season for the players,” before confirming that “the players that remain with us will need to stay fit and sharp and be ready for the Premier League resuming.”
About the game against Rayo in particular, Howe declared that “it’s an exciting game and one we’re looking forward to.”