Pre-Season Preview – Newcastle United


Following an uninspiring and unpopular off-season, Newcastle United face a difficult upcoming campaign

Newcastle finished last season in 13th in the Premier League table last year, after getting off to a dreadful start last season.  United started the season win-less in their first ten league matches and found themselves in the heart of the relegation zone for much of the first half of the season.

It was a surprise victory at home against Manchester City in late January that allowed manager Rafa Benitez to right the ship for the Magpies.  From that victory forward, Newcastle was able to find more consistent success on the pitch, culminating in winning three out of their final five league games to safely keep the team out of the relegation zone.

However, it seemed the tumult of the off-season has put a long shadow as the Magpies head into this upcoming season.  It began with the team failing to come to terms with a new contract for the popular Benitez to remain as manager, as the Spaniard left the Premier League to coach in the Chinese Super League.  Benitez was revered by the club’s fans and seemed to serve as a buffer between the unhappy fan base and the team’s unpopular owner.

In Benitez’s stead, Newcastle has brought in manager Steve Bruce, a managerial choice that has hardly brought in much excitement for their passionate fan base.


Newcastle has slowly turned this transfer period around, after getting off to a putrid start.  Newcastle will start next season without their two leading goal scorers from last year in Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon.  The Magpies allowed Perez to leave and sign with Leicester City while Rondon decided to ply his trade in the Chinese Super League after his loan spell ended.

The key player that the Tyneside club has brought in appears to be Brazilian centre forward, Joelinton.  The Hoffenheim transfer joins the club for a record transfer fee of close to 40 million pounds.  He will be a welcome addition as he has strong hold up ability and terrific vision and should be a vital asset for a Magpie attack is in desperate need of consistent scoring.

To further bolster their attack, Newcastle also have brought in French winger Allan Saint-Maximin from French club, Nice.  Saint-Maximin’s pace and playmaking instincts should help bolster the Magpie attack.

Pairing Saint-Maximin, Joelinton and January transfer Miguel Almiron will provide Newcastle with a dynamic and athletic group of attacking players.


Newcastle face a difficult set of fixtures to start their 2019/2020 campaign, starting with a home match against Arsenal to begin the season and it looks to only get harder from there.  With two fixtures on the road against Tottenham and Liverpool in their first six, the team will hope to get points against some of the lesser sides early in their schedule.  Starting the season off poorly may put the team in a hole that will make it difficult for the team to recover.


Bruce goes into this upcoming campaign with a belief that his squad’s fortunes resting on how effective their attack can be:

A long time ago I played with three at the back at Crystal Palace and with Hull. It certainly suits a sort of style of player which helps everyone concerned.

To win matches, though, you are only as good as what you have got up front and I certainly feel that we have got that threat.


At the start of the off-season, this team looked devoid of a vision moving forward.  With Bruce firmly entrenched as manager and the team bringing quality talent slowly to the squad, the Magpies fate doesn’t seem quite as dire as it once did.  However, this will still be a difficult transition for the team and with so many new and important pieces (especially up front), they will likely get off to a slow start.

While there is enough talent to keep them out of relegation, they will definitely be one of the squads flirting with the relegation zone throughout the season.  Ultimately, they will find a way to stay in the league and likely finish the season in the 15-17th place range of the table.


Expected starting XI



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based in Frederick, MD, USA. Multi-sport correspondent for Prost International and Prost Amerika focusing mainly on Soccer/Football and American Football

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