Newcastle just confirmed the third friendly of their upcoming pre-season, which will be against Portuguese club Benfica. The game will take place in late July (on the 26th) as United keeps backloading their games to the latter week of the seventh month.
This is the third game confirmed in the past week, two of them at home (against Italian side Atalanta and Spanish club Athletic Bilbao) and this one away from St James’ Park. All of these matches are scheduled to be played in a span of seven days and right around the corner of August when the 2022/23 season will kick off early to make room for the November/December World Cup held in Qatar.
The game against Benfica will then happen at the Estádio da Luz in a pre-season friendly that will still crown the champion of the Eusébio Cup that Tuesday, 26th July, at 7pm UK time.
Newcastle and Benfica have met before, with a meeting in the 2012/13 Europa League when both sides face each other and the quarter-final stage ending with a 2-4 global victory by the Portuguese lads.
Benfica, as you very well know, has this young bloke called Darwin Nuñez who was raised from Artigas, Uruguay, and is an obvious target of Newcastle United to bolster the forward line in advance of next season and into contention for a top-5 finish in the Premier League next year and for European trophies starting in the 2023/24 campaign.
If this match has anything to do with the link between Nuñez and Benfica, and of those two with Newcastle by the way of potential transfer negotiations between the Tyneside club and the Lisboa side is yet to be known. There have been rumors talking of interest in the player coming from the most varied places around Europe with a wide range of teams vying for Nuñez acquisition, from the richest team of the World in Newcastle, to Europa League candidates and seeming-always-rebuilding Manchester United, and then your usual giants in the likes of Champions League finalists Liverpool and ever-reigning Germans of Bayern Munchen.
Nuñez might come, or might not, but one thing is clear, and it’s that we’ll get to enjoy those donning red and black and white threads in Portugal soil come Tuesday, Jul. 26.