Yorkshire beckons tomorrow as Newcastle head to Leeds to take part in their penultimate pre-season friendly.
Sources from within Leeds confirm that around 17,000 tickets have been sold so far with 4,000 of those tickets being sold to Mags. I’ll be there and I can’t wait as we are likely to see a team that is closer to the one that we kick-off the Premier League season with in just two weeks time.
The players are back from America and the reserve squad is back from Holland which gives Alan Pardew far more options in terms of picking a team as he once again call upon the likes of Joey Barton, Yohan Cabaye, Mike Williamson and Nile Ranger whilst Danny Simpson will once again return to first team duty after jetting home from the US for the birth of his daughter. Ryan Taylor and James Perch both return from injury for the trip to Elland Road.
Absentees include Cheik Tiote, who is busy trying to sort out his Visa problems, along with Hatem Ben Arfa, Danny Guthrie and Shane Ferguson who will all be out with respective injuries.
With regard to getting there if you’re going to the match my advice is simple – leave early and give plenty of time!
I’ve been driving to and from Leeds most of the week and it’s pretty busy at the best of times. Add to that the fact that 50,000+ people will be making their way to Party in the Park just a few junctions North of Leeds (J46) and you can see why I’m saying leave plenty of time.
If you’re going to try and dodge around it by using the A64 then bear in mind that roadworks are in place on the ring road and delays are expected so you could be caught in traffic both ways unfortunately.
For those who aren’t going the official Leeds website will allow you to view the match, if you subscribe to LUTV. It’s probably not what many of us want to do but I remain hopeful that some kind soul will stream it so that everyone can enjoy it. We will of course update as and when we can find anything worth tuning for.
We will have a match article up tomorrow but with most of us away at the match it probably won’t include team news, although I’m sure you Eager Beavers will be on it as soon as it becomes available anyway and I very much doubt you’ll have to scroll through many comments to get to the teamsheet.
On the match I guess I’d like to see more of the same as we did in Columbus. A good performance, a win, and most importantly no injuries! Leeds will give us a tough test in my opinion and it’s the kind of friendly you want two weeks away from the start of the season.
There will be added bite to the match as Alan Smith is “going home” and may feel the wrath of some of the Leeds faithful who haven’t quite forgiven him for popping along the M62 and switching white for red in the process. From our perspective it will be two years to the day since the passing of Sir Bobby so I expect plenty of vocal tributes from the travelling Toon Army.
Kick-off is at 2pm UK time so don’t forget to adjust your clocks/watches/phones/whatever to reflect that fact wherever you are in the world.
Howay the lads!