With the new season kicking off this weekend, a few outlets have put together a table predicting where all 20 sides will finish in the 2019/20 Premier League – and it’s bleak reading for NUFC.
Here’s the first predicted table, starting with talkSPORT’s super computer – which has us down to finish third bottom and be relegated along with Sheffield United and Brighton:
- Manchester City
- Man Utd
- West Ham
- Aston Villa
- Crystal Palace
- Newcastle (R)
- Sheffield United (R)
- Brighton (R)
Then to the BBC’s chief football writer Phil McNulty, who paints an even more bleak picture ahead of the new season – backing us to finish BOTTOM of the table:
Prediction – 20th
‘Where do you even start? Where will this all end?
‘Rafael Benitez, predictably, has gone and Steve Bruce finally becomes Newcastle United manager in a blizzard of discontent from supporters who, contrary to belief, do not want too much – just a little of what they genuinely deserve.
‘Bruce is experienced and a realist. He will know he must make a big early impression or this has the potential to be a very miserable existence for the Toon Army under the continued ownership of Mike Ashley.
‘Joelinton, a club record signing at £40m from Hoffenheim, steps into the spaces vacated by Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon. He carries a huge burden, while French winger Allan Saint-Maximin, a £16.5m signing from Nice, will be the man Bruce hopes can be the provider.
‘When will the torture end for Newcastle’s supporters? It may get worse before it gets better.’
He may make some good points, but I believe we’ll have just about enough to stay up myself.
The likes of Joelinton, Almiron and Saint-Maximin are inexperienced and unproven at this level, but they looks to have plenty about them, coupled with the fact we have several talented midfielders (Shelvey, Longstaff, Hayden), a good set of centre-backs and a very good goalkeeper in Martin Dubrakva.
The big test for me? A) Will our attacking trio manage to fill the void left by Rondon and Perez and B) how much poorer will we be defensively and tactically now Rafa’s gone?
It’s also worth noting that the average league finish predicted by the Guardians writer was 18th – another damning ‘statistic’ ahead of the new 2019/20 Premier League season – while 4 out of 8 Daily Mirror writers backed us to go down.