The Premier League fixtures for the 2022/23 season were released yesterday, confirming that our first game of the season will be a meeting with newly-promoted Nottingham Forest at St James’ Park.
That was the headline, but another thing stood out to me when assessing our spread of fixtures, and that was the number of winnable home games coming our way over the first half of the campaign, handing us the perfect opportunity to start the campaign strongly.
Here’s our first 10 home fixtures, featuring three newly-promoted sides and five teams who finished below us in the Premier League last season:
- Nottingham Forest
- MAN CITY
- Crystal Palace
- Aston Villa
Man City and Chelsea will be stern tests, but the other eight we’ll face between August and February are either newly-promoted sides or teams who finished in the bottom half last season.
It’s also worth noting that St James’ Park has become a fortress under Eddie Howe in 2022. We’ve lost just ONE of our last 10 Premier League games on Tyneside – and that was a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool.
In that time, we’ve only conceded six goals, scoring 14, and boast a win percentage at 78% since the turn of the year, winning SEVEN of our last nine home games (which could’ve been eight had we not conceded that late equaliser in that 1-1 draw with Watford in January).
If we can keep this form going heading into the 2022/23 season, we could make a strong start – especially when St James’ Park will be packed to the rafters and full of renewed hope ahead of our first full season with a new manager, ambitious owners and a reinvigorated squad.
With new signings and a pre-season under a meticulous manager to come, we can’t wait to see what Eddie’s Mags and Wor Flags have in store for us come August 6th!