Newcastle United have sufficient talent to avoid relegation, but where will they finish the 2020-21 Premier League campaign?
Newcastle United will begin their 2020-21 Premier League journey in 48 hours when they take on West Ham in London. Several pundits and neutral fans have predicted Newcastle United to finish among the bottom three, or just above the relegation zone.
The quality in this side has certainly improved over the last few days, though. Every signing this summer brings unique skills, is familiar with English football, and most have multiple seasons of Premier League experience under their belts. This will bode well for Newcastle United as they aim to reach new heights as a football club this term.
Will the Magpies experience another underwhelming season and fight for survival, or will they make some noise and climb the table? See our predictions below.
The arrivals of Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser, and Jamal Lewis now place the Magpies in a position where they can take the game to any opponent outside the top three.
With a proven goal scorer in Callum Wilson now leading the front line, an assist machine in Ryan Fraser on the wing opposite of the technically-gifted Allan Saint-Maximin, and speedster Miguel Almiron up the middle, opposing defenders will not know where to shift their primary attention.
Jonjo Shelvey is coming off a great season with six goals, and he has a decent chance of emulating that form with a more attack-minded midfielder by side his in Jeff Hendrick. That being said, this team will be entertaining in the final third, but I have some concerns in the back.
The Magpies lacked motivation in some games last season, and failed to confront those on the ball, which is why they conceded an alarming 58 goals.
Federico Fernandez and Jamaal Lascelles will be reliable, but can Ciaran Clark, Florian Lejeune, Fabian Schar, and Paul Dummett step up to effectively fill their voids if injuries occur? I am not so sure.
Martin Dubravka being out for the first six or seven games is a massive blow. Going from a top five keeper to an extremely inconsistent Karl Darlow raises question marks, and will force the defense to work even harder.
Overall, when taking into account the strength of schedule, the talent up top, in midfield, and in the back, Newcastle United will break into the top ten this season. The teams around the Magpies have not improved much, and the quartet of Wilson, Fraser, Almiron, and Saint-Maximin will carry this squad.
- Predicted Finish: 10th, 50 points
Carson A. Merk
While it’s not players like Kylian Mbappe, Arturo Vidal, and Kalidou Koulibaly, Newcastle United did well in their first takeover since the massive takeover fell through.
They bring in proven commodities in Wilson, Fraser, and Hendrick and add a promising left-back in Lewis. Adding Wilson and Fraser to the duo of ASM and Miggy is huge and should bring quality production.
Not having Dubravka for the first chunk of the season is significant. They don’t have a daunting schedule early on with West Ham, Burnley, and Brighton included in their first four opponents (Spurs are the other).
But, Dubravka is often the difference-maker for Newcastle. He turns losses to draws and draws to wins with big saves. Now, the club will be more susceptible to drop points against clubs that aren’t expected to be great this season with the error-prone Darlow between the sticks.
Another factor against Newcastle is the improvement of the attacks for clubs towards the top of the table like Chelsea and Everton. The Magpies have been able to win a match or two against a heavily-favored side over the last few seasons.
As those clubs continue to improve in front of goal, the less chance there is of a 1-0 sneaky win like Steve Bruce’s side swiped from Spurs and Manchester United last season.
I think Newcastle will be improved going forward but more vulnerable heading the other direction, which will balance out to a similar performance as last season.
- Predicted Finish: 12th, 47 points