News today that Newcastle United will travel to Portugal at the end of July to compete in the Guadiana Torneo.
It had been expected that Newcastle would play in South Africa in the Vodacom Challenge, which is the top pre-season tournament in Africa, and is hosted by the Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.
But it seems that it may be bad news today for our South African readers, and Newcastle will play in the three-team tournament in Portugal, which will be held from Thursday, 26th July through Saturday, 28th July at the Algarve Stadium, near Faro.
As reported yesterday, Newcastle will be playing against the current Portuguese Liga Champions FC Porto, and Greek Champions Olympiacos in the pre-season competition.
FC Porto have been a top team for the last several years in Portugal, and have won their National Championship for for six of the last seven seasons.
Here is the line-up of games for the tournament with each side playing two games:
Thursday, 26th July – FC Porto v Olympiacos (8.45pm kick-off)
Friday, 27th July – Newcastle United v Olympiacos (8.45pm kick-off)
Saturday, 28th July – Newcastle United v FC Porto (8.45pm kick-off)
This will give Newcastle some stiff competition in their pre-season, and in addition to these games, Newcastle have already arranged to play Cardiff, at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday August 11th.
Newcastle will still need to arrange another three pre-season games, before the Premier League season opens on the weekend of August 18th, so we suppose the tournament in South Africa could still be a possibility – maybe.
The Vodacom tournament usually takes place around the middle of July, and last year when Tottenham played, the games took place from 16th July through 23rd July.