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Newcastle United lands in Riyadh for 'mini pre-season'

December 05, 2022
The Magpies flew to Riyadh on Sunday with their trip - including a friendly fixture against Al-Hilal - a headline attraction of Diriyah Season.
The Magpies flew to Riyadh on Sunday with their trip - including a friendly fixture against Al-Hilal - a headline attraction of Diriyah Season.

RIYADH — Newcastle United have arrived in Saudi Arabia on Sunday for a week-long warm weather training camp ahead of the second part of the 2022/23 Premier League campaign.

The Magpies flew to the capital city, Riyadh, on Sunday, with their trip - including a friendly fixture against Al-Hilal - a headline attraction of Diriyah Season, which takes place during the winter months and has previously included a boxing heavyweight title bout between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz, tennis tournaments and Formula E, along with live music performances from global artists such as Usher, Pitbull and David Guetta.

United last visited the country in January 2022, heading to Jeddah on the Red Sea Coast after beating Leeds United 1-0. That camp included a game against Al-Ittihad, which Newcastle won 2-1 before embarking upon an excellent run of form on their return.

During their stay in Jeddah, the team welcomed young football stars from the Mahd Academy to the camp, enjoyed a cultural visit to the desert and visited Jeddah Old Town, as well as intense training sessions and team bonding activities which set them up perfectly for the run-in, which saw Eddie Howe's men climb away from the relegation zone.

By contrast, United arrive in Riyadh in third place and Eddie Howe said: "The break for the World Cup gives us the opportunity for a mini pre-season ahead of a crucial part of the season."

"Our trip to Jeddah in January was pivotal for us last season. It galvanised the group, and the hard work the players put in was rewarded in performances and results on our return."

"We will have access to world class facilities as refurbishments at our own training ground continue, and we look forward to facing Al-Hilal and playing in front of our growing numbers of supporters in the region," he added.

The game against Al-Hilal, the most-decorated club in Asia and the reigning Saudi Pro League champions, will be played at the Prince Faisal bin Fahad bin Abdulaziz Stadium on Thursday, Dec.8, 2022 (kick-off 8pm AST/5pm GMT), and will be broadcast live, and free of charge, on NUFC TV.

In addition to the match and training, the players will be attending meet and greet events with supporters, while there will be a fan event at the Hyatt Regency in Riyadh on Wednesday Dec. 7, 2022. — SG


December 05, 2022
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