Oldham vs. Newcastle United: How the Magpies Will Line Up
Bolstered by four new signings in the shape of Siem De Jong, Remy Cabella, Jack Colback and Ayoze Perez, the Magpies are taking shape ahead of the big kick-off next month.
And they are keen to add another new face to their squad before they fly out to New Zealand this week, with Dutch international right-back Daryl Janmaat a target according to the Evening Chronicle’s Lee Ryder.
Before then, the trip to Boundary Park will be a good early test for Alan Pardew’s men, and here Bleacher Report takes a look at how United could line up against the Latics.
Goalkeeper: Jak Alnwick
With Tim Krul on extended leave following his exertions at the World Cup with Holland, young stopper Jak Alnwick will start in goal in Newcastle’s pre-season opener.
The 21-year-old is yet to make his competitive debut for the Magpies, but he’ll be given the nod at Boundary Park with reserve keeper Rob Elliot also missing from training so far.
Full-Backs: Steven Taylor and Massadio Haidara
As uncertainty surrounds the right-back berth at Newcastle United, boss Alan Pardew could well ask Steven Taylor to fill the position at Oldham Athletic on Tuesday.
Mathieu Debuchy’s move to Arsenal is expected to be confirmed this week, as reported by The Independent’s Joe Krishnan, while back-up Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has been linked with Saint-Etienne by the Evening Chronicle’s Neil Cameron.
All of which means Taylor could be asked to fill the role before a replacement is secured, while Vurnon Anita is also a viable option.
On the other flank, the knee injury that has sidelined Davide Santon until September hands Pardew a straight choice between Massadio Haidara and Paul Dummett.
Centre-Backs: Remie Streete and Mike Williamson
Pre-season will give Alan Pardew the chance to blood some of the more prominent stars from the club’s under-21 set-up, which could be good news for Remie Streete.
Big things are expected of the South Shields-born defender, who is desperate to make the step-up to senior level next season, be it at St James’ Park or elsewhere on loan.
Alongside him, Pardew will choose between captain Fabricio Coloccini and his fellow centre-half Mike Williamson. The pair played together numerous times last term and both should be involved at Oldham.
Central Midfielders: Jack Colback and Gael Bigirimana
Jack Colback will be eager to focus on playing after crossing the Tyne-Wear divide this summer, and he’ll get his wish against Oldham Athletic on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old was under the spotlight after switching from Sunderland to their deadliest rivals last month, but the midfielder is ready to put the fuss behind him in his first outing for the Geordies.
With Cheick Tiote still on holiday following his involvement at the World Cup, Alan Pardew could hand a rare start to Gael Bigirimana, who made just one appearance last season.
Vurnon Anita is the other obvious candidate, with the Dutchman almost certain to be involved at some point at Boundary Park.
Attacking Midfielder: Siem De Jong
The club’s third signing of the summer this month, Siem De Jong, will make his Newcastle United debut following his arrival from Ajax.
Much is expected of the Netherlands international after he was handed the vice-captaincy at his new club over the weekend alongside Cheick Tiote.
The 25-year-old, who is at home as a second striker or in a deeper role, could be deployed behind a lone forward on Tuesday and will look to create from the traditional No. 10 spot.
However, the clash will come too soon for new boy Remy Cabella, who completed his switch from Montpellier to United on Sunday.
Wide Forwards: Gabriel Obertan and Sammy Ameobi
One of the players said to have benefitted most from the appointment of new head of fitness Dave Billows is Gabriel Obertan, who looked sharp during the first week of pre-season.
And the Frenchman will be hoping he’s done enough to earn a second chance at St James’ Park—starting with a place in the team to face Oldham Athletic.
Another winger with much to prove over the coming weeks and months is Sammy Ameobi, who was used sparingly by Alan Pardew during the 2013-14 campaign.
The skilful 22-year-old enjoyed a loan spell with Middlesbrough last year, and he could find himself in line for another temporary switch if his chances remain limited this season.
Centre-Forward: Ayoze Perez
Ayoze Perez’s summer move from CD Tenerife represents a voyage into the unknown for the 20-year-old, and he’ll get his first taste of English football on Tuesday.
The striker also remains a mystery as far as supporters are concerned, and the friendly with Oldham will give fans the opportunity to catch an initial glimpse of the Spaniard.
His record in the Segunda Division last season was impressive, with Perez netting 16 times in 34 appearances, and he’ll be hoping to pick up where he left off at Boundary Park.