Gareth Southgate questions Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur decision

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Newcastle United will face Tottenham Hotspur in a friendly match in Australia immediately following the conclusion of the Premier League season.

Gareth Southgate has questioned the decision for Newcastle United to play Tottenham Hotspur in Australia just days after the conclusion of the Premier League season. The Magpies are set to face Spurs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday 22 May before then playing a game against an A-League All-Star team just two days later. Spurs, managed by Ange Postecoglou who grew up in Melbourne, will fly home after the game against the Magpies.

The Premier League season concludes on Sunday 19 May, meaning the Magpies have just three-days to fly out to Australia and prepare for the games following their final day clash against Brentford. The games have been criticised for player welfare concerns and the timing have also called into question the participation of top stars from both clubs.

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Euro 2024 begins on 14 June whilst the Copa America begins a week later with Newcastle having players such as Kieran Trippier, Anthony Gordon, Nick Pope, Tino Livramento, Fabian Schar, Bruno Guimaraes and Miguel Almiron all hoping to take part in these tournaments.

For Southgate, who will take his England squad to Germany as one of the pre-tournament favourites, the match is far from ideal but has admitted they will have to get used to these end of season games and adapt accordingly. “It [end-of-season friendlies] is going to happen more and more,” Southgate said.

“Why? Financial fair play means clubs need to generate their own money, so we're in a bizarre world where there's more money in the game than ever before, and yet everyone is scrambling across federations and clubs to generate more. The normal way of doing that is to play more games - so is that great news for us, in terms of preparation? No. 

“But we're going to have players in the FA Cup final (May 25) probably, the Champions League final (June 1) hopefully and a chance of a few other European finals, so we are used to preparing this way. 

“We had to go to Qatar with five days prep, so we adjust to whatever it is and hope there are no injuries from that game [in Australia].”

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