MX23RW : Saturday, September 18 08:34:07| >> :600:828794:828794:
Jul 18, 2021 at 2pm UK at Wetherby Road
HarrogateHarrogate Town
NewcastleNewcastle United
Hall (43'), Martin (83')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Crossley (51')

Preview: Harrogate Town vs. Newcastle United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Pre-Season Friendlies clash between Harrogate Town and Newcastle United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Newcastle United's pre-season preparations for the 2021-22 campaign begin on Sunday, as Steve Bruce takes half of his contingent to face Harrogate Town at the EnviroVent Stadium.

The other half of the Magpies' squad will be taking on York City on the same day, as Bruce aims to build some much-needed momentum ahead of next month's opening Premier League fixtures.

Match preview

Harrogate Town's Josh Falkingham and manager Simon Weaver celebrate with the trophy after winning the FA Trophy Final on May 3, 2021© Reuters

Simon Weaver's 2020-21 campaign was certainly one to remember in the Harrogate dugout, as he witnessed his side secure survival in League Two at the first time of asking while also scooping the delayed 2019-20 FA Trophy at Wembley.

The Sulphurites' pre-season fixtures did not exactly start in perfect fashion, though, as Weaver's men were outclassed 5-0 by Doncaster Rovers before suffering a 1-0 defeat to Huddersfield Town, but their fortunes improved during a journey to Brighouse Town.

A 74th-minute effort from former Scotland Under-19 international Mark Beck propelled Harrogate to a 1-0 win over the Northern Premier League side, and a busy pre-season schedule will also see Weaver's men take on Rotherham United, Sunderland and Darlington in the coming weeks.

Having unsurprisingly been awarded a new three-year contract at the helm, Weaver - now in his 12th year in charge of the Sulphurites - will now hope to consolidate his side's place in the Football League, and he is sure to relish this upcoming opportunity against Premier League opposition.

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce reacts on May 7, 2021© Reuters

Bruce will never win over the entire Newcastle fanbase, but having overseen a stellar revival at the back end of the 2020-21 season, the 60-year-old has some solid foundations to build on for the new campaign.

The threat of relegation appeared to be looming large for the Magpies, but five wins from their last eight Premier League encounters - a charge led by consistent goalscorer Joe Willock - ultimately saw Newcastle finish 12th and closer to the top eight rather than the bottom three in terms of points.

Whether another deal for Willock - who scored in each of his last seven top-flight games for the club - can be struck remains to be seen, but Newcastle are thought to be making strides in landing the Arsenal man on loan for the upcoming campaign, which would represent a crucial piece of pre-season business.

Big-name transfer activity in and out of Newcastle is yet to occur, though, as a trio of youngsters in Charlie Wiggett, Remi Savage and Cameron Ferguson represent the club's only incomings thus far, while the seemingly never-ending drama surrounding the proposed takeover continues to rumble on in the background.

Newcastle and Harrogate will be locking horns for the first time ever during Sunday's friendly, and Magpies supporters will be eager to see which crop of experienced pros and up-and-coming starlets are chosen for which weekend battle.

Harrogate Town Pre-Season Friendlies form:
  • L
  • L
  • W

Team News

Newcastle United's Paul Dummett celebrates scoring their second goal against Leicester City in the Premier League on May 7, 2021© Reuters

Harrogate have understandably been busy in the summer transfer market, with new arrivals Danilo Orsi, Mark Oxley, Alex Pattison and Rory McArdle all enjoying their first tastes of action for the League Two outfit.

Striker Luke Armstrong has also made the switch from Salford City following Jon Stead's retirement at the end of last season, while the likes of Jay Williams, Calvin Miller and Brendan Kiernan have all moved on.

It is impossible to predict which Newcastle players may be travelling to the EnviroVent Stadium, but Bruce has affirmed that he wants to give each member of his contingent at least an hour of football this weekend.

Miguel Almiron's injury sustained in Copa America duty is not as serious as initially feared, but he will not return to the squad before the end of the month at the earliest, while Martin Dubravka could reportedly miss the start of the season with his foot problem.

Freddie Woodman was expected to complete a loan move to Bournemouth ahead of the new season, but those plans have been scuppered following the unfortunate news of Dubravka's injury.

SM words green background

We say: Harrogate Town 1-3 Newcastle United

Harrogate fully deserve to test themselves against a top-flight club of Newcastle's stature given their remarkable rise, but the blend of Magpies youth and experience should still have too much firepower for the League Two side, so we can only back a resounding away win.

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Newcastle United's Joseph Willock celebrates scoring against Sheffield United in the Premier League on May 19, 2021
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