It is time for day two of the World Cup, and there are plenty of players who Newcastle United fans should be keeping an eye on.
The tournament got underway on Sunday afternoon, with Ecuador easing past the hosts Qatar 2-0 thanks to Enner Valencia.
Now it is time for England to kick off their World Cup campaign, as they take on Iran in the Group B opener. Also in action today are Netherlands who face Senegal, and the evening game is Wales vs USA.
There are plenty of players Newcastle fans will know all about, and here are seven they must watch at the World Cup today
Kieran Trippier is the headline act for Newcastle fans at the World Cup on Monday. The 32-year-old is part of Gareth Southgate’s England squad, and is expected to be named in the Three Lions’ starting XI.
If he can take his club form to the international stage then England have one hell of a player on the right of defence.
After England, attention turns back to Group A. And one Netherlands player Toon fans should keep an eye on is Cody Gakpo.
The 23-year-old is appearing at his first ever World Cup, and is one of the tournament’s most exciting young players. Gakpo currently plays for PSV Eindhoven, and has been described as someone who ‘has everything‘.
Newcastle were tentatively linked during the summer, and some strong performances in Qatar could make the winger a target once again – especially since that’s a position Eddie Howe wants to improve.
Luuk de Jong
If nostalgia is what you’re after, Netherlands have got that as well. That is because former Newcastle striker Luuk de Jong is in Louis van Gaal’s World Cup squad.
De Jong is Gakpo’s teammate at PSV, and now they are sharing the international stage. He will be wearing the number nine shirt, and will only have to score one goal to do better than he did in a Newcastle shirt.
Netherlands take on Senegal at 4pm, and their squad includes one of Newcastle’s January targets. Nicolas Jackson has never played for his country, but could make his debut on the grandest stage.
The Magpies have recently been linked with Jackson, who is also a target for Everton and Aston Villa. The Villarreal attacker is out of contract next summer, and could have multiple teams fighting for his signature if he shines in Qatar.
But does he have what it takes to thrive in Howe’s side? We will find out if he features today.
Another Senegal player Newcastle fans will recognise is Ismaila Sarr. The winger was heavily linked with a move to St James’ Park during the summer, and was named as a cheaper alternative to Moussa Diaby.
In the end, neither joined Newcastle, and Sarr actually remained with Watford. That was a big surprise, especially given the Magpies’ desire to sign a winger.
Whether or not he would have fit the bill remains to be seen, but Newcastle fans can watch him again this afternoon at the World Cup and make up their own minds.
The final game of the day sees USA take on Wales. Christian Pulisic is the star attraction for the Americans, and is a player Newcastle were ‘obsessed‘ with during the summer.
The £58million man surely would have been a great signing, but a deal was never agreed. Even now, he would be a great addition, and perhaps Pulisic can put himself in the shop window with a strong World Cup. If he does become available, Newcastle will surely be in the mix given their summer pursuit.
Last but not least we have DeAndre Yedlin. A second former Newcastle man could feature at the World Cup today, where Yedlin is the USA’s most experienced player.
Whether he actually starts is another debate, as the USA also have Sergino Dest in their ranks. Therefore, Yedlin might be forced to watch on from the bench.