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BT Sport's Premier League 2017/18 season preview: Newcastle United

Everything you need to know about Newcastle United ahead of the 2017/18 Premier League season on BT Sport.

FOOTBALL 09/08/17 14:33
Newcastle United

Last season: 1st in the Championship

As with all clubs who are promoted to the Premier League, the question is whether the players who were good enough to take them up will be good enough to keep them up.

In Newcastle United’s case it is clear that Rafa Benitez believes there is still work to do in the transfer market before the window shuts at the end of the month.

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The former Liverpool, Napoli and Real Madrid boss has been vocal about his belief that the club need to strengthen considerably in order to cope with the demands of the Premier League and, despite having already splashed out around £30million this summer, still feels the club are a shy of a quality striker.

Whether that player arrives may well not only have an impact on the Toon’s survival hopes but also whether the manager hangs around to see the job through. Certainly the Spaniard would not be short on offers should he decide his future was away from St James’ Park.

That’s not to say the current squad is without talent and, with the likes of Matt Richie, Jonjo Shelvey and Dwight Gayle in their ranks, they already have a squad that compares favourably with the likes of Burnley, Brighton and Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town.

However, a club such as Newcastle should be aiming higher than just competing in a relegation dogfight.

Glass half full: Rafa Benitez knows exactly what is required to be a success in the Premier League and will make sure the team is organised defensively. Mike Ashley has promised significant transfer finds are available and the club may be waiting for later in the window before making their move in the hope of getting more value for their money. 

Glass half empty: Dwight Gayle scored a bucket-load of goals in the Championship but is yet to prove he can be an effective force in the Premier League. The club’s transfer business has been quiet and a lack of players with top flight experience could cost them if the going gets tough.

New kids on the block: Christian Atsu – Chelsea, Florian Lejeune – Eibar, Stefan O'Connor – Arsenal, Josef Yarney – Everton, Jacob Murphy – Norwich , Javier Manquillo – Atletico Madrid.

Left the building: Kevin Mbabu – BSC Young Boys, Florian Thauvin – Marseille, Matz Sels – Anderlecht (loan), Alex Gilliead – Bradford (loan), Vurnon Anita – Leeds, Yoan Gouffran – Goztepe, Lubomir Satka – Dunajska Streda, Haris Vuckic – FC Twente, Tom Heardman – Bury (loan), Sammy Ameobi – Bolton, Adam Armstrong – Bolton (loan).

The gaffer: Rafael Benítez – To go from managing Real Madrid to leading Newcastle United in the Championship in under 12 months takes some doing but former Liverpool boss Benitez has arguably come out of the experience with his reputation enhanced. The popular Spaniard came within a whisker of keeping the Toon up in 2016 before calmly guiding them up as champions at the first time of asking.

Star man: Jonjo Shelvey – The former Swansea City midfielder was brought in during the January transfer window of Newcastle’s relegation season to try and help the side stay up. He wasn’t able to do that but the 25-year-old played a vital role in the club’s promotion last season and remains one of the first names on Benitez’s team-sheet going into the new campaign.

One to watch: Florian Lejeune – The ball-playing centre-back was signed form Spanish side Eibar for a fee believed to be £8.5million earlier this summer. After a brief spell at Manchester City where he failed to make the first team the 26-year-old will keen to show what he can do in the Premier League.

First five games: Tottenham Hotspur (H), Huddersfield Town (A), West Ham United (H), Swansea City (A), Stoke City (H).

Betting preview

Premier League Title Odds: 500/1

Top Four Odds: 80/1

Relegation Odds: 4/1

Top Goalscorer Odds: Dwight Gayle 4/7

Star Bet: Despite leading the club to the top of the Championship last season speculation persists over the future of manager Rafa Benitez who is unhappy at the lack of transfer activity at the club. A goalkeeper and a striker are needed before the end of August and if the Spanish boss doesn’t get his wish he may be the first manager to walk this season. Despite this they’re the best equipped side out of the promoted three to survive in the Premier League and are as big as 9/2 to be relegated this year. First Premier League manager to leave – Rafa Benitez 7/2.

Highlights: Liverpool 4-2 Hoffenheim (agg: 6-3)

Highlights: Liverpool 4-2 Hoffenheim (agg: 6-3)

Highlights: Liverpool 4-2 Hoffenheim (agg: 6-3)

Highlights: Liverpool 4-2 Hoffenheim (agg: 6-3)

Highlights: Liverpool 4-2 Hoffenheim (agg: 6-3)

Highlights: Liverpool 4-2 Hoffenheim (agg: 6-3)

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