Newcastle United confirmed XI v Al Hilal: Two surprise starters with six players ruled out - gallery

Newcastle United face Al Hilal in a friendly match in Riyadh this evening (5pm kick-off GMT) - here is how will Eddie Howe’s side line-up in Saudi Arabia.

A 28-man Newcastle squad, excluding the five players participating in the World Cup, have been taking part in a warm weather training camp in Saudi Arabia this week. The trip includes a friendly match against the Saudi Pro League and AFC Champions League holders Al Hilal.

With Newcastle returning to competitive action later this month, Howe will want to ensure his squad are fit and ready to build on their fine run of form from the opening part of the campaign.

Emil Krafth has travelled with the Newcastle squad but is unavailable due to a serious ACL injury picked up back in August. It remains doubtful that the right-back will feature again for United this season.

But a player closer to returning from injury is record signing Alexander Isak. The Swedish striker has been sidelined since September with a thigh injury and has continued his recovery out in Riyadh.

It is hoped Isak will be back in contention for the Boxing Day visit to Leicester City.

Karl Darlow, Matt Targett, Paul Dummett and Matt Ritchie also missed out from the matchday squad.

Here is Newcastle United’s starting XI for the match against Al Hilal.

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