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Newcastle vs. Aston Villa - Eddie Howe: Pre-Match Press Conference

Golden nuggets from Howe before Newcastle’s first game of the season against Unai Emery’s Aston Villa!

Newcastle United Training Session Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

In the lead-up to Newcastle United’s Premier League opener against Aston Villa this Saturday, manager Eddie Howe has shed light on key developments within the squad. One of the notable updates involves Fabian Schar’s status, as the Swiss international missed the Magpies’ final trio of pre-season matches due to an injury sustained during the 1-1 draw against Chelsea in Atlanta last month.

Howe has confirmed that Schar, the seasoned defender, is expected to be available for selection as Newcastle hosts Villa at St. James’ Park to initiate the 2023/24 season following a full week of training.

Howe took to the microphones and addressed the most pressing questions by the media on Friday, one day before the Magpies host Villa on Saturday, Aug. 12. Speaking from the Magpies’ Benton training center, Howe conveyed his satisfaction with the team’s overall readiness for the forthcoming season.

The extensive pre-season program, highlighted by a trip to the United States, helped the team gain proper conditioning.

Regarding Aston Villa, Newcastle’s opponents for the opening match, Howe acknowledged the competitiveness of the Villans. The two sides previously faced off in the Premier League Summer Series last month, resulting in a 3-3 draw, although it’s not that heavy conclusions can be drawn from that matchup considering its nature.

Howe praised Villa’s performance through last season under the leadership of Unai Emery and acknowledged the healthy respect between the teams. Howe emphasized the unpredictable nature of the Premier League season, with several teams in a similar bracket and looking for a top-4 finish.

The arrival of Tino Livramento, Newcastle’s recent signing from Southampton, has also been a topic of discussion. Howe commended Livramento’s athletic attributes while making reporters and fans alike aware of the importance of carefully managing Livramento’s workload given his recent return from a lengthy injury and his transition to a new team in Newcastle.

Howe confirmed that Joe Willock won’t feature until after the first international break, while Emil Krafth remains out rehabbing from an ACL injury suffered last season.

Howe stressed the importance of a committed and determined team that exemplifies a strong work ethic, hunger for success, and a positive attitude. Howe also acknowledged the pride in representing both the city and the football club in England and—for the first time in 20 years—across Europe this season as a competing side in the upcoming Champions League.

As the Premier League season kicks off, the Toon Army can’t wait much more for the first kick-off of the season, one that will bring the return of Schar to the pitch as well as (just maybe) the introduction of Livramento adding an intriguing dimension to the squad. All of that, with the bonus of facing a hella strong side in Aston Villa in the opener, is set to provide an early tall test for the Magpies’ aspirations in the 2023/24 campaign.


  • Date: Saturday, August 12th
  • Kick-off: 19:30 BST / 12:30 EST
  • Location: St. James’ Park, Newcastle (England)
  • Broadcasts: fuboTV (CAN) — SiriusXM FC, UNIVERSO, Peacock, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo, UNIVERSO NOW, NBC (USA) — Sky Sports Main Event, SKY GO Extra, BBC Radio 5 Live, Sky Ultra HD, Sky Sports Premier League (UK)

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