Newcastle United’s new best XI after first three pre-season matches with summer signings
Newcastle secured comfortable wins over Gateshead and 1860 Munich before suffering a frustrating 1-0 defeat against Mainz 05 in Austria.
They will face Benfica, Atalanta and Athletic Bilbao in their remaining three matches in front of fans ahead of the new Premier League season.
But with new signings Matt Targett, Nick Pope and Sven Botman, how will Howe look to fit them in to his Newcastle side?
Based on what we’ve seen so far in pre-season as well as what we witnessed at the back end of last season, here is Newcastle’s ‘best’ starting line-up as it stands.
1. GK: Nick Pope
Pope has only played 90 minutes of pre-season in total so far but has looked solid when he has been on the pitch and is yet to concede a goal, making a good save against 1860 Munich on Friday.
Photo: OLI SCARFF
2. RB: Kieran Trippier
Although Emil Krafth has had a solid pre-season so far, you simply can’t look past a fit Kieran Trippier at this moment in time. He’s been solid on the pitch but most importantly has shown he is back to full fitness having been involved in all three matches and training sessions throughout.
3. CB: Fabian Schar
Went toe-to-toe with Dan Burn as Newcastle’s top defensive performer in the second half of last season. It’s a very difficult choice for Howe to make between Burn and Schar but the latter’s ability on the ball and solid form so far in pre-season could see him given the nod. Newcastle are yet to concede with him on the pitch in pre-season.
Photo: Gareth Copley
4. CB: Sven Botman
Once again very harsh on Dan Burn, but you don’t spend £35million on a centre-back to put him on the bench. Fortunately, Botman has looked the real deal in the two pre-season matches we’ve seen him in so far.