Updated Tue 1 Aug 2023, 18:55 by NUFC News

Rangers vs. Newcastle United match preview

Rangers vs. Newcastle United match preview
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Newcastle United's second game of the 2023/24 pre-season sees them heading to a sold-out Ibrox tonight to take on Rangers in a testimonial match for long-serving goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

Kick-off is at 7.45 p.m., and Eddie Howe should have an almost full complement of first-team players available, having had to use a significant number of U21s in the 3-2 win at Gateshead on Saturday afternoon.

What's the latest team news?

Nick Pope (wrist/hand), Emil Krafth (knee), and Joe Willock (hamstring) are again set to miss out, while Jamaal Lascelles (thigh) and Jacob Murphy (shoulder) were late withdrawals from the squad at the weekend and are expected to be absent here too.

Ryan Fraser, Isaac Hayden, and Jeff Hendrick are again excluded from the squad.

Kell Watts also didn't feature at Gateshead and could be on his way out of St. James' Park soon, while Martin Dúbravka is yet to return to Tyneside after being involved in international duty for Slovakia earlier in the summer. The same seems true of Garang Kuol, who is yet to be seen at Little Benton.

Sven Botman, Fabian Schär, Bruno Guimarães, Joelinton, Sandro Tonali, Miguel Almirón, Anthony Gordon, Alexander Isak, and Callum Wilson are all back in training, though, and should be part of the squad in Glasgow.

That should give Howe this group of players to choose from:

Goalkeepers: Loris Karius, Karl Darlow, Mark Gillespie

Defenders: Kieran Trippier, Javier Manquillo, Harrison Ashby, Fabian Schär, Jamaal Lascelles, Sven Botman, Paul Dummett, Dan Burn, Matt Targett, Jamal Lewis

Midfielders: Sandro Tonali, Sean Longstaff, Bruno Guimarães, Elliot Anderson, Joelinton, Lewis Miley, Miguel Almirón, Anthony Gordon, Matt Ritchie, Jacob Murphy, Allan Saint-Maximin

Forwards: Alexander Isak, Callum Wilson

How will Newcastle line up?

Having played an unusual starting XI featuring Trippier in midfield at Gateshead due to the lack of senior professionals available to him, things should look a bit more standard for Eddie Howe tonight.

(4-3-3) Karius; Trippier, Schär, Botman, Burn; Longstaff, Guimarães, Joelinton; Almirón, Isak, Gordon

It would be a surprise to see many players getting over 45 minutes of action with the numbers available to Howe here, though, so we'd expect to see plenty of changes at half-time.

What kit will Newcastle be wearing?

Having debuted the "Saudi-inspired" green away kit at the International Stadium, it should be a debut for the new black and white stripes here. Maybe we'll finally find out whether the standard socks are black or white!

What have the managers said about the match?

No pre-match media has been out out by the club for the Rangers game, but Eddie Howe did give some relevant quotes to the local press after the 3-2 win at Gateshead on Saturday:

"We will take everyone that's fit. Those international players, Saturday came too early.

"But we will try to get all the players through pre-season. Get them ready for the demands we face this year in all the competitions."

Meanwhile in Glasgow, an Instagram story from Gers boss Michael Beale is the closest we've gotten to any pre-match build-up:

"It was great to have @greegsy1 back in training with the team today. A big night tomorrow celebrating a wonderful career - look forward to seeing you all at Ibrox."

Are tickets still available?

Unfortunately not, no, though there have been plenty of spares doing the rounds on social media.

Newcastle are set to take a full away allocation of 8,000 fans, with Ibrox set to be a 50,000+ sellout.

Where can the game be watched?

A live stream of the game is available for £7.99 through NUFC TV, with the superb Matthew Raisbeck and former Magpies defender John Anderson on commentary duty.

What's Newcastle's head-to-head record with Rangers?

NUFC have only faced off against Rangers twice competitively, in the semi-final of the 1969 Fairs Cup.

The first leg finished 0-0 in Glasgow on the 14th of May, 1969, with the return leg at Gallowgate a week later being won 2-0 by Newcastle thanks to goals from Jimmy Scott and Jackie Sinclair.

The two sides have faced each other several times in friendlies, with the most recent meeting at Ibrox being ahead of the 2013/14 campaign. That match finished 1-1, with our goal coming from Shola Ameobi. Before that, we lost 2-1 in the 2009/10 pre-season, despite Peter Lovenkrands scoring against his former side.

Here's our full record against Rangers at Ibrox:

PlayedWonDrewLostForAgainst
51

2

2

67

And our overall record against Rangers home and away:

PlayedWonDrew
Lost
For
Against
73

2

2

129

How about a prediction?

We went for an "uncomfortable" 3-1 at the International Stadium and weren't a million miles away. We'll plump for an entertaining 2-2 here.

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