Newcastle facing tough few weeks in the Premier League

Newcastle United host Chelsea on Sunday to kick-off what could be a difficult few weeks for the club in the Premier League.

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The Magpies have picked up just one point from their opening two matches and they face a tough run of fixtures between now and the end of September.

Chelsea are first on the agenda in front of the Sky Sports cameras this weekend and manager Rafa Benitez will be eager to see his side repeat the performance they produced when the two teams last met back in May.

Ayoze Perez (2) and Dwight Gayle got the goals for Newcastle as they ended Chelsea’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League with a stunning 3-0 victory.



A trip to Nottingham Forest next Wednesday in the EFL Cup is a potential banana skin, although Benitez’s focus is likely to be on the league game at Manchester City three days later.

City completed the double over Newcastle last season and have lost just once in their last 23 meetings with the North East side in all competitions.

Newcastle return to action after the international break when they welcome Arsenal to St James’ Park. A 2-1 victory over the Gunners last April ended a run of 12 games without a win against the London club, but this will be yet another tough test.

United head to Crystal Palace the following week and revenge could well be on their minds. Benitez felt Newcastle were victims of a “soft penalty” decision as Palace came from behind to earn a draw back in February.

Newcastle haven’t won at Selhurst Park in the Premier League since 2013 and they will be eager to end that run this time around.

A home game against Leicester City on Saturday, September 29, completes a tough run of matches for Benitez’s team.

Newcastle lost 3-2 at home to the Foxes back in December, but they made up for that defeat with a hard-fought 2-1 success at the King Power Stadium during April.

A minimum of six points from the next five games looks a realistic target for the Magpies, although with a trip to Manchester United to follow at the start of October a higher return would obviously be welcomed.

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