Rafa Benitez has just announced the team for the last friendly of pre-season at St. James’ Park this afternoon against SBV Vitesse from Arnhem, Holland and Mbemba is not in the squad.
Chancel has picked up a slight ankle injury in training and is not playing today but should be ready for Fulham next Friday.
Grant Hnley starts the game at center-back and it will be a tough test for Grant who is not match fit.
Newcastle (4-2-3-1): Matz Sels; Daryl Janmaat, Grant Hanley, Jamaal Lascelles (c), Paul Dummett; Isaac Hayden, Jack Colback; Vurnon Anita, Ayoze Perez, Matt Ritchie; Dwight Gayle
Substitutes: Karl Darlow, Jamie Sterry, Jesus Gamez, Cheick Tiote, Jonjo Shelvey, Henri Saivet, Florian Thauvin, Yoan Gouffran, Rolando Aarons, Adam Armstrong, Aleksandar Mitrovic
Sels is in goal and the two holding midfielders are Isaac Hayden and Jack Colback and surprisingly Vurnon Anita starts on the right wing.
Perez is in the number 10 role again and the other winger is Matt Ritchie, so the good news is he must be fully fit again.
The bench is very strong and Florian Thauvin is included – which is interesting given that a deal is trying to be negotiated for him to move to Lazio – hopefully by the end of this weekend.
It will be good to see how the lads perform today and especially Grant Hanley at center-back.