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Match Previews

Preview: Newcastle United U23s v Rovers U23s

A look ahead to the final group game in the Premier League International Cup this evening

20 December 2019

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Rovers Under-23s return to action this evening when we head to the north-east to take on Newcastle United's Under-23s at the Northumberland FA HQ.

It's been a frustrating first couple of games in the competition for Billy Barr's side, who suffered a 2-0 defeat to Hertha Berlin in the opening game of the tournament before a home defeat to Benfica at Leyland.

The results mean that Rovers can't qualify for the knockout stages of the Premier League International Cup, no matter what happens against the Magpies this evening.

The hosts have plenty to play for, with only the best placed runners-up progressing through the group stages. They currently sit a place and a point above third placed Hertha Berlin, who have played all three of their matches.

The Toon Army could top the group should they beat Rovers by three goals.

Richie Smallwood, who has featured in the last couple of outings for Billy Barr's side, could start again as he looks to boost his match fitness, whilst Harry Chapman is also likely to play a part.

John Buckley is part of the travelling contingent heading to the north-east as he aims to get much needed game time under his belt having featured sparingly for the first team in recent weeks.

Brad Lyons could well be pushing for a starting berth having come off the bench to mark his comeback from injury, but the game will come too soon for the sidelined defensive duo of Charley Doyle and Louie Annesley.

The format of the competition sees six groups of four clubs, made up of two English teams and two from overseas.

Teams play each other once, with the six group winners and two best-placed runners-up qualifying for the quarter-finals, which will take place in the New Year.

Kick-off this evening is at 7pm and we will be covering the action across our social media channels.


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