Barca will inform us about how we’ll line up against the Magpies

Just writing the above headline makes me flinch nervously and look over my shoulder #MagpieFacts. Gunnerblog – when you return from the fringe you’ll need to do a #MagpieFacts special to warn us all what could befall us in Tyneside.

Before that terror however we have the small matter of a friendly against Barcelona at the Camp Nou in the Joan Gamper trophy. 8pm Kick-off.

It’s the last pre-season fixture and with one eye on Newcastle we have to be looking to play our planned line-up for the first Premier League match in preparation. It’s a huge game in itself and Barca will offer stiff competition, exactly what we need.

Whilst I expect to see a runout for Pepé, I suspect the lineup will look something like this

1
Leno
15
Ainsley Maitland-Niles
5
Sokratis
21
Chambers
27
Kolasinac
34
Xhaka
8
Ceballos
24
Nelson
10
Ozil
14
Aubameyang
9
Lacazette

Nelson and Auba will be switching, giving Emery more of an idea on how to fit Pepé into this team. I fully expect Özil to start, hopefully recovered after the trauma of the carjacking and eager to start pulling some strings.

Emery will want to get at Barca with pace and tenacity. If you sit off them they’ll eat you alive – which is no fun for anyone. It is an excellent test though, if we can press with tenacity as a team it will unsettle them. We have players who can hurt them. Let’s go play.

Further thoughts tomorrow.

Til then

WG

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