Eddie Howe wants to make sure his Newcastle side hit the ground running when the new Premier League season kicks off and pre-season is crucial to the Magpies boss.


Howe is set to take his team to Portugal during the course of pre-season with a clash in the Eusebio Cup on the agenda.



Newcastle have confirmed that they will play Benfica in the friendly game on Tuesday 26th July at the Estadio da Luz, with an 8pm kick-off.


The Magpies have only met Benfica in a competitive sense in the 2012/13 campaign, when they took part in the Europa League.



Newcastle lost the first leg of the quarter-final tie 3-1 in Portugal before then drawing 1-1 at St James’ Park.


Benfica finished in third spot in the Portuguese league standings in the recently concluded season and will be looking to do better next term.



And facing Newcastle will form part of their preparations as they look to leapfrog Sporting Lisbon and FC Porto in the standings.


It remains to be seen what Newcastle new signings take part in the friendly for the Magpies.