Exciting 4-2-3-1: The new-look Newcastle XI which could face Fulham

Newcastle United kick off their Championship campaign with a trip to Fulham on Friday.

To be played on Friday 5th August 2016 at 19:45. Venue: Craven Cottage, London

Odds: Fulham 11/4, Draw 12/5, Newcastle 1/1

The road back to the Premier League for Newcastle United begins at Craven Cottage as a new-look Magpies outfit visit Fulham in the Championship curtain-raiser tomorrow.

Manager Rafael Benitez has signed eight new players this summer as the heavily-decorated Spaniard looks to add a promotion to his list of accolades this season.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez

Goalkeeper Matz Sels, one of those eight, will compete with Karl Darlow for a place between the sticks, but an unconvincing pre-season campaign from the Belgian might see Darlow given the nod in West London.

Benitez is rich with centre-back options but another Newcastle new boy Grant Hanley is likely to line up in central defence alongside Jamal Lascelles, who is expected to be named as United captain for the season ahead despite being only 22.

Ciaran Clark, signed from Aston Villa this week, could compete with Paul Dummett at left-back, but Daryl Janmaat is almost certain to start on the opposite side at right-back.

Aston Villa's Ciaran Clark

Further forward, Mohamed Diame, who joined from Hull City on Wednesday, could be thrown straight into the mix as the powerful midfielder looks to start beside Jonjo Shelvey in the middle of the park.

Vurnon Anita, Ayoze Perez and Matt Ritchie might line up in a midfield-three behind lone striker Dwight Gayle, the £10 million signing who is charged with the task of firing Newcastle back to the big time this season.

Fulham predicted lineup

  • Jesse Joronen
  • Ryan Fredericks
  • Tomas Kalas
  • Michael Madl
  • Denis Odoi
  • Tom Cairney
  • Kevin McDonald
  • Ryan Tunnicliffe
  • Floyd Ayité
  • Matt Smith
  • Sone Aluko

Newcastle predicted lineup

  • Karl Darlow
  • Paul Dummett
  • Grant Hanley
  • Daryl Janmaat
  • Jamaal Lascelles
  • Vurnon Anita
  • Mohamed Diamé
  • Matt Ritchie
  • Jonjo Shelvey
  • Ayoze Pérez
  • Dwight Gayle

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch