Premier League countdown: Can Rafa secure Newcastle’s survival?
The new Premier League season is inching ever nearer, so it’s time to start thinking about how the upcoming campaign will shake out.
In the build-up to the new season we’re profiling each of the 20 top-flight clubs, from Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City to Premier League newboys Brighton & Hove Albion.
Today we’re talking all things Newcastle United…
The Magpies won the Championship in the dying moments of last season, completing an immediate return to the top tier.
As usual things haven’t been plain-sailing in the North-East, with rumours persisting of discontent between Benitez and the board over transfer activity.
Claims of a £75m war-chest appear to have been unfounded, with the Toon Army spending a moderately minor £28m.
The new arrivals haven’t exactly been headline names either, although Christian Atsu and Florian Lejeune are well regarded.
But Benitez has kept the core of last season’s league winners, which should stand them in good stead for the upcoming campaign.
And in Dwight Gayle and Aleksander Mitrovic, they’re capable of scoring goals and troubling defences up and down the country.
Newcastle United – 2017-18
Key arrivals: Christian Atsu, Javier Manquillo
Key departures: Yoan Gouffran, Vernun Anita
Man to watch: Aleksander Mitrovic
Title odds: 500/1
Best bet: Top half finish @ 3/1
We say: We always expect drama when it comes to Newcastle, but despite noises of a rift between Benitez and the board, things don’t look too bad. They might be lacking a bit of top-line quality, but there’s more than enough about this current crop to stick around in the Premier League. Relegation would be a surprise.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing