Premier League - Football: Newcastle United season preview
Last season was a tale of two halves for Newcastle United, with the outlook bleak for the Magpies as they sat second-from-bottom at Christmas.
The takeover in October lifted spirits and the club's fortunes turned around dramatically after a successful January transfer window.
There was a severe lack of confidence in manager Steve Bruce from Magpies fans going into last season and the opening months of the campiagn didn't do much to help the former Hull City boss.
Unfortunately for Bruce, the club's new owners lacked the faith to keep him in a job and promptly replaced him with former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe.
Howe, along with help from January arrivals, was able to guide Newcastle to a very respectable 11th-place finish come May.
England Premier League 2022/23
|When||5th August 2022 - 28th May 2023|
|How to watch|
Selected matches broadcast on Sky, BT Sport and Amazon Prime
|Odds||Manchester City 1.20, Liverpool 13.00, Tottenham 34.00, Chelsea 34.00, Manchester United 101.00|
Where did Newcastle United finish last season?
What are Newcastle United's hopes for the season?
Newcastle are in a position that very few clubs find themselves in, with their newfound riches raising expectations to an almost unprecedented level.
Despite the huge influx in funds, the club's hierarchy have made it very clear that they want to build the team and club properly and will not attempt to 'buy their way' to the top.
That being said, they have already made some very impressive signings, which should lead to a top-half finish for the Magpies.
It would be easy to expect Newcastle to kick on and challenge for the European places, but a large number of the squad from 12 months ago still remain at St James' Park, so expecting too much too soon could become a problem.
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Who are Newcastle United's opening opponents?
Newcastle will welcome newly-promoted Nottingham Forest to St James' in their opening Premier League clash on Saturday 6th August.
Forest have been out of the top-flight for 23 years, so Steve Cooper and his men will be hoping to make an early impact on their return to the big time.
There has been a host of incomings to the City Ground over the summer, with former Liverpool duo Taiwo Awoniyi and Neco Williams costing around £18million each.
The head-to-head stats give at least one reason for Magpies fans to be hopeful of an opening-day success, when you consider Newcastle have beaten Forest in each of their last six league meetings on Tyneside.
When are Newcastle United's key fixtures?
Howe's squad are hit with a very tough run of fixtures early in the season, with reigning champions Manchester City travelling to the to Tyneside on 21st August. This is followed 10 days later with a trip to Merseyside to face Liverpool at Anfield.
If the Magpies are hoping for a European push this term, then fixtures such as West Ham on the 4th February and Manchester United on 1st April could prove crucial, while Newcastle's final game of the season is at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea.
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Who is Newcastle United's manager?
Howe took over at Newcastle in November 2021 and the club have gone from strength to strength since his appointment.
The former Burnley manager has revolutionised the way the Magpies train and that, along with shrewd additions, has subsequently boosted performances on the field.
Howe took on his first managerial job in 2009, at Bournemouth - the team he made over 250 appearances for as a player. He then guided the Cherries to League One in 2010, which is where he left the club in 2011, as he moved up a division to take charge of Burnley.
The Turf Moor stint, however, lasted just under two years as he left the club for personal reasons.
He quickly re-joined Bournemouth and miraculously took them all the way from League One to the Premier League, where he kept them for four seasons before leaving after relegation in August 2020.
What players have Newcastle United signed?
Sven Botman (Lille)
Matt Targett (Aston Villa)
Nick Pope (Burnley)
Alex Murphy (Galway United)
Charlie McArthur (Kilmarnock)
Which players have left Newcastle United?
Oisin McEntee (Walsall)
Mo Sangare (Accrington)
Isaac Hayden (Norwich, Loan)
Lewis Cass (Port Vale)
Freddie Woodman (Preston)
Dan Langley (Gateshead, Loan)
Jeff Hendrick (Reading, Loan)
Ciaran Clark (Sheff Utd, Loan)
Dwight Gayle (Stoke)
Who are Newcastle United's key players?
|Star player||Bruno Guimaraes|
|Potential top scorer||Callum Wilson|
|Set-piece king||Kieran Trippier|
|Exciting youngster||Sven Botman|
Newcastle made Bruno Guimaraes their first big-money signing under the new regime in January 2022 and his impact was felt straight away.
The Brazilian joined from Lyon in a deal worth close to £40million, but the Magpies saw his value straight away. Five goals in 17 appearances made him an instant favourite with the Toon faithful.
Callum Wilson spent much of last season on the sidelines with injury. The former Bournemouth striker only made 18 appearances in the Premier League last term, but still finished as Newcastle's top scorer for the campaign with eight goals.
While it is undeniable Wilson can find the back of the net and poses a real threat, his recent injury absences are a concern. Newcastle, though, are yet to invest any money on a new striker this summer, so Wilson looks set to lead the line once again.
The footballing world was shocked when it saw Kieran Trippier swap Atletico Madrid for Tyneside at the start of this year.
A player who undoubtedly has the quality to play Champions League football, Trippier has already shown Magpies fans his dead-ball brilliance and they can look forward to a full season of his class this time around.
A domestic league title isn't something every footballer can boast about, but Sven Botman has secured one before his 22nd birthday.
The former Lille man had European giants such as AC Milan chasing his signature this summer, but it was Newcastle who paid £33million for the Dutchman. A player with Champions League experience for less than £40million looks a bargain, particularly at his young age.
Which of Newcastle United's players will be going to the World Cup?
Newcastle aren't a team blessed with international stars, although there are a number of Howe's men who could be off to Qatar in November.
Star man Guimaraes will likely find his way into the Brazil squad along, while Fabian Schar should feature for the Swiss and Paul Dummett could be part of the Welsh squad.
Both of Newcastle's first-choice full-backs could be on the plane with England, with Matt Targett trying to force his way into Gareth Southgate's plans, along with the experienced Trippier.
Howe will have few complaints if a number of his squad don't make it to Qatar, as in a year where European qualification could be possible, the Magpies will need as little injuries as possible to give them the best chance.