Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Newcastle United’s line-up versus Athletic Bilbao: Benfica absentee returns, Sven Botman starts

A completely different Newcastle United starting XI from last night’s 1-0 win over Atalanta take on Athletic Bilbao this afternoon.

Eddie Howe has handed a first St James’ Park start to Sven Botman as Newcastle United host La Liga outfit Athletic Bilbao.

The Magpies defeated Italian side Atalanta 1-0 less than 24 hours ago via a Chris Wood penalty to begin their Tyneside double-header with a win.

And as expected, Howe has changed his entire line-up to take on the Marcelino Garcia Toral’s side - the last friendly before next weekend’s Premier League opener against Nottingham Forest.

In a NUFC XI that includes Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton, Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson, £35million summer signing Botman is the standout selection.

This is the Dutchman’s first outing in front of the Geordie public after arriving from Ligue 1 side Lille.

Returning in between the sticks is Martin Dubravka. The Slovakian missed friendlies against Burnley and Benfica due to a wrist injury.

Here’s your Newcastle United starting XI and subs for this afternoon’s clash:

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