Newcastle confirm TWO St James’ Park friendlies in two days against top European opposition

Newcastle have today announced that they will be playing host to both Atalanta and Athletic Bilbao on the 29th and 30th of July in two friendly games.

Our game against the Italian opposition – who have consistently made Champions League in recent years – will kick off at 7:45pm on Friday night, but the kick off for our Saturday fixture against Bilbao is yet to be decided.

Manager Eddie Howe has been very keen to sort out some pre-season fixtures following the collapse of our USA training camp, and he finally has his wish as we take on two top European clubs.

Over the two days, Howe is “expected to split his first-team across the two fixtures” in preparation for the new season which will begin earlier this year because of the World Cup being held in the winter.

Hopefully now with the two friendlies sorted, the 44-year-old can enjoy some well-earned time off after what was a terribly hectic season before he kicks off his preparations for next year.

Read the full club statement:

“The Magpies will host a double-header against European opposition at St. James’ Park a week before the season gets under way, firstly taking on Italian club Atalanta on Friday, 29th July (kick-off 7.45pm) before welcoming Spanish side Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, 30th July (time TBC).

“It is expected that head coach Eddie Howe will split his first-team squad across the two fixtures.

“Both clubs finished eighth in their respective domestic leagues last season, with Atalanta also reaching the last eight of the UEFA Europa League after being eliminated from the Champions League during the group stage.

“Known formally as Athletic Club, Basque-based Bilbao also came close to cup success during the 2021/22 campaign but lost to Real Madrid in the Supercopa de España final after previously lifting the trophy last year. 

Ticket information and additional pre-season fixtures will be confirmed in due course.

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