Newcastle play AS Monaco in their second pre-season friendly tonight. It’s a 6pm (UK) kick-off and all the action is live on ESPN (Sky 417 / Virgin 529).
The Red and Whites are now managed by former Valencia, Chelsea, Inter and Roma Manager Claudio Ranieri. The upcoming season is all about bouncing back into Ligue 1 after they failed to do so at the first time of asking.
Here are 10 things you should know about our opponents, put together by our fan writer Daniel Abela.
ONE – AS Monaco was founded on the 23rd August 1924. They wear red and white home shirts.
TWO – The Stade Louis II is their home stadium. It has an 18,500 capacity and has hosted European Cup finals, including the annual UEFA Super Cup, which is held every August.
THREE – AS Monaco won their last trophy in 2000. They were Champions League runners up in 2004, when they lost to Jose Mourinho’s Porto FC.
FOUR – In 2010/11, Monaco were relegated to the French Ligue 2 after finishing in 18th in the top tier.
FIVE – Last season, they finished 8th in Ligue 2. Their campaign included a 10 game win-less run, but they managed to amass 52 points, 12 off 3rd promoted team Troyes. Despite this, head coach Marco Simone was sacked.
SIX – Today’s match is their 3rd of pre-season. In their previous two friendlies, they managed to beat Austria’s Wacker Innsbruck 3-0 and Dynamo Kiev 1-0.
SEVEN – During their pre-season matches Ranieri has tried out 4-4-2 and 4-2-3-1 formations, so far.
EIGHT – AS Monaco’s second Ligue 2 campaign starts on the 30th July, away at Tours FC.
NINE – During the summer Claudio Ranieri has signed three players. Delvin Ndinga is a 24 year old Congolese midfielder, signed from Auxerre. Jakob Poulsen is a 29 year old Danish midfielder signed from Mittjylland and Andrea Raggi is a 28 year old Italian defender signed from Bologna.
TEN – Senegalese striker Ibrahima Toure was Monaco’s top scorer last season with 10 goals. Valere Germain scored eight times.
Thoughts, comments and predictions welcome.