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Jul 23, 2021 at 7pm UK
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Preview: Doncaster Rovers vs. Newcastle United - prediction, team news

:Headline: Preview: Doncaster Rovers vs. Newcastle United - prediction, team news:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Pre-Season Friendlies clash between Doncaster Rovers and Newcastle United, including predictions and team news.
Sports Mole

Doncaster Rovers and Newcastle United will continue their preparations for the 2021-22 campaign with a pre-season friendly at the Keepmoat Stadium on Friday evening.

The hosts have won three of their four warm-up fixtures so far, while the visitors were beaten in their only game against non-league opposition.

Match preview

Following a disappointing 14th-place finish in League One last season, Doncaster will be keen to get off to a strong start this campaign and build momentum over the summer, before their opening league game at home to AFC Wimbledon on August 7.

Donny have played four pre-season friendlies so far, thrashing Harrogate Town 5-0 and Rossington Main 4-0, before losing 2-0 against Bradford City last weekend. Their most recent fixture saw them get back to winning ways, as they convincingly beat Wakefield AFC 6-0 on Tuesday.

Richie Wellens, who spent two years as a player with Doncaster between 2007 and 2009, was appointed as head coach in May and is tasked with guiding his new side out of the third tier for the first time in five years.

The 41-year-old has already been busy in the transfer market, recruiting seven new players, including versatile midfielder Tommy Rowe, centre-back Ro-Shaun Williams as well as Portsmouth duo Ben Close and Jordy Hiwula, all having joined the club on free transfers.

Newcastle's opening warm-up fixture this summer ended in defeat as they surprisingly lost 1-0 away at National League North outfit York City last weekend.

Steve Bruce named a strong side, with several first-team players also making appearances from the bench, though the Magpies were unable to break the host's down, leaving them with plenty to improve on ahead of Friday's trip to Doncaster.

Newcastle have yet to make any significant signings this summer, and despite the drama surrounding a proposed takeover in the background, additions are set to be made. Talks are believed to be taking place over a potential second loan spell for Arsenal's Joe Willock, while they have also been linked with moves for Marseille's Boubacar Kamara and Watford's Will Hughes.

Friendly fixtures against Doncaster – a side they have beaten competitively in each of their last seven meetings – Rotherham United, Burton Albion and Norwich City all lie ahead for Bruce's men, before their Premier League opener at home to West Ham United on August 15.

Doncaster Rovers Pre-Season Friendlies form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Newcastle United Pre-Season Friendlies form:
  • L

Team News

Doncaster were without a number of senior players for their last two pre-season friendlies, after a positive coronavirus case within the squad meant that several first-team members were forced to self-isolate.

Captain Tom Anderson, however, was back in the starting lineup last weekend and on Tuesday – after recovering from a knock which had kept him out against Rossington Main a week earlier – and he is set to start in the heart of the defence once again.

A handful of trialists have featured for Donny so far this summer and they are set to be given more game time on Friday, as they look to impress Wellens.

As for Newcastle, Karl Darlow tested positive for COVID-19 last week, and as a result Freddie Woodman and Mark Gillespie, who were in close contact with their fellow goalkeeper, were also forced into self-isolation.

This meant that 20-year-old Dan Langley was handed his senior debut last weekend and he is likely to keep his place between the sticks.

Striker Joelinton was forced off with an injury against York, so the likes of Callum Wilson, Dwight Gayle and Yoshinori Muto are all set to feature in attack.

We say: Doncaster Rovers 1-2 Newcastle United

Doncaster have faced lower league opposition so far this summer, winning convincingly on three occasions, but they are now to be tested by Premier League opposition.

Newcastle were disappointing against York last time out and we expect to see improvements to their performance, with a narrow win on the cards at the Keepmoat Stadium.

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