Newcastle play their final game of their tour of Portugal this evening, just 24 hours after they kicked off their first one.
That was of course our rather farcical 1-1 (or 4-4 after a penalty shootout) draw against Olympiakos last night, which leaves us with a chance of becoming only the second side from outside Portugal to win, to give it its full name, the Trofeu Internacional de Futebol do Guadiana.
To do so we’ll have to overcome a face that should be familiar to most of us. Hugo Viana signed for us ten years ago now and stayed with us for three seasons. He was dubbed as the next Portuguese superstar and arrived at St James’ Park with a better reputation than a young Cristiano Ronaldo who cam through the Sporting Lisbon academy at the same time as Viana.
Unfortunately for Viana his career path took an entirely different route to that of Ronaldo and I would say that it’s fair to suggest he was ultimately a failure during his spell on Tyneside. That’s not to say that I don’t think it could never have worked for him, but I just think everything weighed on him and he took his time to settle and adjust even though he did show brief glimpses of quality.
Still time moves on and so must we. Viana now plays for the “other side” tonight where he has become an integral part of their team. SC Braga are in the Europa League this season and, like us, must qualify from the same round that we are in so they aren’t a poor side by any stretch of the imagination.
On our part we can expect to see come faces who were rested last night. Jonas Gutierrez, Fabricio Coloccini, Danny Simpson, Cheik Tiote and Ryan Taylor all sat out the match last night so it’s fair to assume they’ll get the nod tonight. Yohan Cabaye will have to settle for a cameo role however, and that is only if the game is going a certain way according to Alan Pardew. That “certain way” is presumably not the way that Olympiakos were going about things last night!
The game is being shown live on ESPN, making my three month free offer seem like a really good deal as I’ve now watched the last four pre-season matches without the hassle of
finding an internet stream listening to it legally and above aboard. However for those who don’t have ESPN I’m pretty sure it will be available somewhere… Kick-off is at 8:45pm UK time.
Team news will be added in below as and when it becomes available.
Howay the lads!
Newcastle: Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Fabricio Colocini, James Tavernier, Jonas Gutierrez, Ryan Taylor, Cheik Tiote, Sylvain Marveaux, Demba Ba, Sammy Ameobi, Papiss Cisse
Subs: Tim Krul, James Tavernier, Paul Dummett, Steven Taylor, Davide Santon, James Perch, Romain Amalfitano, Gabriel Obertan, Gael Bigirimana, Haris Vuckic, Mehdi Abeid, Shola Ameobi