Welcome to IntoTheTopCorner’s team-by-team preview to the new Barclays Premier League season. Here we look at Newcastle United’s vital stats, their summer transfers and analyse their chances.
Manager: Alan Pardew.
Captain: Fabricio Coloccini.
Stadium: St. James Park (52,409).
Last season: 5th.
Leading scorer (PL): Demba Ba (16).
Odds: Title 175-1. Relegation 30-1.
In: Vurnon Anita (£6.7m, Ajax), Romain Amalfitano (Free, Stade de Reims), Gaël Bigirimana (£1.1m, Coventry), Curtis Good (£400k, Melbourne Heat)
Out: Samuel Adjei (Released), Leon Best (£3.3m, Blackburn), Fraser Forster (£2.2m, Celtic), Danny Guthrie (Free, Reading), Jeff Henderson (Free, Sligo Rovers), Tamás Kádár (Free, Roda JC), Peter Lövenkrands (Free, Birmingham), Alan Smith (Released)
Key Man – Papiss Cisse
Newcastle United’s latest No.9 has become an instant hit among the fans after scoring an excellent 13 Premier League goals in 13 starts, having only arrived in January 2012 from Bundesliga side Freiburg. Cisse has overtaken his compatriot, Demba Ba as the club’s main forward and if he is able to continue his form of last season, then Newcastle could have yet another successful campaign.
18-Aug – Tottenham (H)
25-Aug – Chelsea (A)
02-Sep – Aston Villa (H)
17-Sep – Everton (A)
22-Sep – Norwich (H)
29-Sep – Reading (A)
Probable Formation (4-4-2): Krul; Simpson, S Taylor, Coloccini, Santon; Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez; Ba, Cisse.
Verdit: Alan Pardew was named Manager of the Year for last season’s heroics as the Toon Army exceeded all their expectations. A Europa League campaign awaits as a reward, and if Cisse fires again, expect the Magpies to be in for another positive season. They have not spent much on getting in new players – except the Vurnon Anita deal which was completed today – while the teams above them have improved. It will be difficult for them to get as close as they did to Champions League football last season. Hatem Ben Arfa needs to be kept fit and happy because at his best he is just unstoppable. The biggest goal threat comes from Cisse – with defenders more aware of him now, it remains to be seen if he can carry on his incredible scoring form this season. The Magpies have managed to keep hold of their best player and have a very strong foundation in place but I think a few more signing will be needed to be made if they are aiming to finish above the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool or Tottenham.