Newcastle United have confirmed that the club’s players and staff will report back for pre-season on July 3.
Pre-season will start in three weeks’ time ahead of a whole month of preparations before their season opener of August 12.
But with just three friendlies planned so far, Newcastle are expected to confirm their annual pre-season game at St James’ Park, which traditionally takes place a week before the competitive season begins.
Pre-season friendlies already confirmed
The Magpies are scheduled to be back in action on Friday, July 14 when they travel to Scotland to face Hearts at Tynecastle.
Managed by former United coach Ian Cathro, The Jam Tarts disappointingly finished outside a Europa League spot in the Scottish Premiership last season. Their fifth-placed ranking exampled a tough transition period for the Edinburgh-based club when Cathro took over the reigns from previous manager, Robbie Neilson.
Just over a week later, Benitez’ men will clash with the side that they secured promotion back to the top-flight against, Preston North End. A 4-1 win over the Lilywhites in late April confirmed United would be returning to the top flight at the first time of asking.
United will once again lock horns with Preston in Lancashire, just like they did last year in a 2-1 win at Deepdale. Their visit will take place on Saturday, July 22
And four days later on July 22, Newcastle will make the fairly short journey to West Yorkshire to visit Bradford City at Valley Parade for the first time since 2001.
The Bantams unfortunately lost out on a place in this season’s Championship after they were beaten 1-0 by Millwall in the League One play-off final last month.
Bradford were also knocked out in the 2016 play-off semi-final to Millwall in 2016. So with their promotion spoilers now gone, boss Stuart McCall will be searching for a strong start as he looks to make it third time lucky on the promotion front.