Writer: Mehzeb Chowdhury
Date:Friday August 7 2009
Newcastle United are set to participate in their first competitive game since being relegated from the English Premier League in May, as they face off against Roberto di Matteo's West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on Saturday.
The Toon will be without injured midfield pair Danny Guthrie (hamstring), and Nicky Butt (hand), while departing defenders Habib Beye, and Sebastien Bassong are also not participating in the fixture.
The departures, and the injuries will mean that youngsters Nile Ranger, Ryan Donaldson, Tamas Kadar, Kazenga Lua Lua, Ben Tozer, and even Slovenian wonderkid Haris Vuckic may get a run out in the senior squad.
Ryan Taylor is expected to slot into the right-back position, with Alan Smith taking the captain's armband.
Chris Hughton is also reportedly ready to hand Shola Ameobi, and Andy Carroll first-team starts, with Xisco also pushing to make an appearance.
Kevin Nolan is set to receive a massive confidence booster when Hughton gives him Steven Gerrard-like scope of mobility and shooting, and it is understood that Nolan would be playing in an attacking midfield position, with Smith taking it upon himself to protect the back-four.
For the Baggies striker Ishmael Miller (cruciate ligament), midfielder James Morrison (heel) and defender Neil Clement (knee) are missing out through injury, while striker Roman Bednar, is still serving a suspension for his alleged purchase of drugs last season.
The match will be telecast Live on BBC One & BBC HD from 1720 BST.
Date:Friday August 7 2009
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