Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Date: Sat 10th Aug, 2013.
Kick off: 6.00pm.
Referee: Lee Mason.
UK TV: None.
Welcome to our ‘match banter’ feature for this evening’s game against Portuguese side, S.C. Braga. Although this is the last in Newcastle United’s series of pre season frindlies, it’s the first to be held at St James’ Park.
This game will take part on what is now officially “Sir Bobby Robson Football Day,” with as many as 150 event taking place nationwide to celebrate football in general, and one of the game’s greatest Ambassadors in particular. Of course, Bobby had close links with both English and Portuguese football, managing both Sporting and Porto in the Primeira Liga between 1992 and 1996. in his time there, he picked up 2 League titles and a Portuguese Cup with Porto.
A look at the opposition.
Braga are usually the “best of the rest” in the Portuguese Premeira Liga behind Benfica, Porto, and formerly Sporting before their decline in recent seasons. Last season however, Braga were beaten into third by our last Portuguese opponents in our pre-season friendlies, Paços de Ferreira (where we eked out a 1-1 draw). Looking at our last game against this evening’s opponents, we beat them 2-1 back in Portugal in the “Algarve Tournament” held as a part of last year’s pre season build up.
This season, Braga have played several English sides in their pre season this time, beating Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 and drawing with Premier League new boys Hull City 0-0 (both in Portugal). Then, they came to England to draw 2-2 with Chris Hughton’s Norwich City last Friday in their last game.
On the Newcastle United front, new signing Loic Remy definitely won’t be featuring in this one as he has been nursing a calf strain. Also, Colloccini picked up a groin strain against Ranagers and will be doubtful. Obertan is also said to have a knock of some kind, but there doesn’t seem to be much information about that kicking around. Finally of course there’s Ryan Taylor.
The Braga squad who have travelled to Tyneside.
Eduardo, Cristiano, Baiano, Nuno André Coelho, Paulo Vinicius Santos, Hansel, Florent, Custodio, Alan, Luis Silva, Ruben Micael, Luiz Carlos, Rafa, Mauro, Pardo, João Pedro, Salvador Agra, Pedro Santos, Edinho, Hélder Barbosa, Yazalde.
Beyond the early team news, I will also be posting the official team sheets for the game when they become abvailable so stay tooned!
Although this game isn’t being broadcast on UK TV, it will be broadcast on Potuguese TV and there will be some links online. I shall be posting those when they become available too, which is usually around an hour before kick-off.
Finally, I will also be posting highlights and if possible, a video of the whole game when it’s all over, which only leaves it for me to say:
Howay the Lads!
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Rob Elliot (G), Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga Mbiwa, Fabricio Coloccini (C), Davide Santon, Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheick Tiote, Moussa Sissoko, Jonas Gutierrez, Shola Ameobi, Papiss Cisse.
Subs: Tim Krul (G), Paul Dummett, Steven Taylor, Yohan Cabaye, Vurnon Anita, Dan Gosling, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Yoan Gouffran.
Braga (4-4-2): Eduardo; Baiano, Paulo Vinicius, Aderlan Santos, Joaozinho; Alan (c), Luiz Carlos, Ruben Micael, Mauro; Edinho, Felipe Pardo.
Subs: Cristiano, Nuno Andre Coelho, Joao Pedro, Pedro Santos, Helder Barbosa, Luis Silva, Rafa, Florent Hanin, Yazalde, Custodio, Salvador Agra.