Why Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle SHOULD take the EFL Cup seriously

In recent times, Newcastle United have placed most of their focus on staying in the Premier League. As we all know, Rafa Benitez was unable to save the sinking ship last season as the Magpies crashed out of the top flight but that disappointment could breathe fresh life into Newcastle’s viewpoint on domestic cup competitions.

After all, there is absolutely no reason why the Magpies cannot continue to play their full-strength side in both the Championship and the EFL Cup this season…

At the time of writing, Newcastle are priced at 7/5 in Coral’s Championship league betting odds to emerge victorious as they fight it out for the title – and it is easy to see why the Magpies are priced at such a short price after their recent run of form.

Before losing 2-0 to Wolverhampton Wanderers in their most recent encounter, Benitez’s men had won five games in a row; scoring 15 goals and keeping four clean sheets in the process.

And to be honest, most fans are expecting Newcastle to bounce back at the first time of asking.

Speaking before last weekend’s defeat, club legend Alan Shearer told Coral that he believed the Magpies would achieve their ultimate goal of promotion this season. And while the Championship remains a priority for Benitez’s men, a good cup run will tell us much more about Newcastle’s long-term prospects under the Spaniard.

While they lost to Wolves in the Championship, Newcastle were able to secure a relatively straightforward 2-0 victory over their opponents in the EFL Cup third round. And the Magpies will fancy their chances of reaching the next stage after their relatively kind fourth round draw…

Benitez’s men have been paired up with Preston North End; and Newcastle will be wary of a potential ‘cupset’ in this clash. Victory over their Championship rivals would see the Magpies reach the fifth round and a clash with one of the top Premier League clubs could await.

But focus now turns back to their domestic campaign and a potentially difficult trip to Aston Villa awaits. As of September 21st, Coral are pricing Benitez’s men at 31/20 in the Championship league betting odds on their website – and plenty of bettors will fancy the Magpies to get back to winning ways.

With the likes of Dwight Gayle, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Matt Ritchie banging in the goals, they could overpower the Villains on Saturday evening – although Mohamed Diame is expecting a tough, physical battle.

The Championship is widely regarded as one of the most difficult divisions in European football and Newcastle will do extremely well to bounce back at the first opportunity. But that doesn’t mean that they should ignore the EFL Cup; Benitez’s Magpies have the chance to showcase their talent against the big boys – and they could surprise a team or two if they put their minds to it…

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