English Premier League club Newcastle United have shown they are taking the Football United Tour to New Zealand seriously by naming a strong 26-man squad for games against Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC.
Newcastle play Sydney FC at Dunedin-s Forsyth Barr Stadium on July 22 and the Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on July 26.
Coach Alan Pardew has included three of his club-s four World Cup stars – France fullback Mathieu Debuchy, Netherlands goalkeeper Tim Krul and Ivory Coast midfielder Chek Tiote – in the squad.
The presence of the trio in Dunedin and Wellington could come down to how far their respective countries progress in the Brazil tournament, but their inclusion is promising for fans.
All last season-s first team regulars will be on the plane, including captain Fabricio Coloccini who has played 38 times for Argentina and has been one of Newcastle-s most outstanding players in recent seasons.
Other notable names are Ben Arfa (13 caps for France, 2 goals) and Sammy Ameobi who has made seven appearances for Nigeria.
Travelling party: Jak Alnwick, Sammy Ameobi, Vurnon Anita, Adam Armstrong, Hatem Ben Arfa, Gael Bigirimana, Adam Campbell, Jack Colback, Fabricio Coloccini, Mathieu Debuchy, Paul Dummott, Robert Elliot, Shane Ferguson, Yoan Gouffran, Jonas Guitierrez, Massadio Haidara, Tim Krul, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan, Ayoze Perez, Davide Santon, James Taverner, Steven Taylor, Cheik Tiote, Michael Williamson, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
Don’t miss what promises to be an historic tour of world class football clubs! Get your tickets now:
– Newcastle v Sydney FC, Forsyth Barr Stadium Dunedin on Tuesday 22 July at 7.30pm. Tickets from TicketDirect.
– Newcastle v Phoenix FC (2pm) and West Ham v Sydney FC (4.30pm), Westpac Stadium Wellington on Saturday 26 July. Tickets from Ticketek.
– West Ham v Phoenix FC, Eden Park Auckland on Wednesday 23 July at 7.30pm. lTickets from Ticketek.