Newcastle confirm pre-season home fixtures against Atalanta and Athletic Bilbao
The Magpies have just confirmed a rather odd pair of games which will take place at their home ground in St James’ Park at the end of July.
The matches will be played on two consecutive days. The first will host Italian club Atalanta (Friday July 29) while the second will face Spanish club Athletic Bilbao the next day (Saturday July 30).
There is no precedent where Newcastle have faced Atalanta at any time in the Tyneside club’s history, although the Magpies have faced Athletic Bilbao before in the 1994/95 season when they played each other in the second round of the then UEFA Cup. penalties after a 3-3 draw.
This announcement comes with a kick off time already attached to the first match (7.45pm UK) but not the second. In the memo released by Newcastle United, and while obviously not confirmed by any means, it is stated that the first-team squad will be split across the two games so that Eddie Howe can field two strong enough squads at the start. back-to-back deals without risking the well-being, fitness and health of any player involved in the games.
These two matches are expected to be the last to take place in the upcoming pre-season for Newcastle as they will take place just a week before the start of the season with the Premier League kicking off as early as August 6 next season. due to The World Cup will be held in Qatar later between mid-November and mid-December.
That solves the last part of Newcastle’s pre-season equation, but the first is still up in the air following the cancellation of the Ohio Cup earlier this month. Newcastle were one of four teams – along with Wolverhampton, Valencia and Villarreal – due to tour the United States before this competition was cancelled, and with it the scheduled fixtures in Columbus and Cincinnati.