Roberto Mancini walked out of the Italy job to take up the role of the head coach of the Saudi Arabia team earlier this year.


He is gearing up to be in charge of his first game tonight when Saudi Arabia will host Costa Rica in an international friendly.




Owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, Newcastle and St. James’ Park were chosen as the venue to kick off the Mancini era.


However, according to Italian daily Corriere della Sera (via Tutto Mercato), Mancini’s bow as Saudi Arabia boss will take place in front of a half-empty stadium.



Newcastle and Saudi Arabia decided to keep the ticket prices low – £5 for adults and £3 for kids – but they have found very few takers.


Only about half of the stadium will be filled to watch the Saudis take on Costa Rica tonight.



It remains to be seen whether Newcastle decide to give out free tickets to attract more people to the ground this evening.