Newcastle United end their trip to Austria with a friendly against Mainz on Monday.
The Magpies beat 1860 Munich on Friday afternoon thanks to goals from Joe Willock, Sean Longstaff and Bruno Guimaraes. Now they face much tougher opposition – the team that came eighth in the Bundesliga last season.
Eddie Howe gave 22 players a run out on Friday, with Matt Ritchie and Jamal Lewis missing out due to injury. We saw a start for Elliot Anderson, while Sven Botman enjoyed his first 45 minutes in black and white.
As the Magpies continue their preparations for the new Premier League season, who will Howe pick to start against Mainz?
Eddie Howe keeps his goalkeepers guessing
Nick Pope started on Friday, playing about an hour. It was a quiet outing for the summer signing, but he did make one wonderful save from a free kick.
It was Pope’s first appearance as a Newcastle player, as he battles with Martin Dubravka to be the first choice stopper. However, we expect Howe to keep his goalkeeper cards close to his chest, and start with the Slovakian stopper.
While pre-season is often a time for experimentation, we think Howe will go with his strongest defence against Mainz. That means Kieran Trippier, who wore number two on Friday, and Matt Targett starting at full-back.
In the middle we’ve got £35million signing Sven Botman and Fabian Schar, with the former impressing in his first Newcastle outing. He already looks accomplished with a ball at his feet, and will be keen to build up an understanding with his Swiss teammate.
No need to risk Bruno
While supporters love watching Bruno Guimaraes play, there’s probably no need to start him.
He looked sharp off the bench last time out, bagging a goal and assist. The Brazilian is raring to go, so Howe should use this friendly to let others fight for a place in the starting XI.
We’re going with a trio of Sean Longstaff, Jonjo Shelvey and Joelinton against Mainz, while Anderson will hope to make an appearance off the bench.
Saint-Maximin must step up
Allan Saint-Maximin started on the left against 1860 Munich, but wasn’t particularly inspiring. There were moments of brilliance, but it was a largely frustrating outing for the 25-year-old.
He needs to find form going into the new season, so Howe should persevere with him in the starting XI.
We expect Saint-Maximin to be joined by Chris Wood and Ryan Fraser in attack, with Wood no doubt desperate to get himself a goal.
Predicted XI to face Mainz: Dubravka; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Targett; Longstaff, Shelvey, Joelinton; Fraser, Wood, Saint-Maximin.