Newcastle United were the feel-good story of the 2022/23 campaign after finishing in the Champions League places.
Their rise to prominence has been nothing short of astonishing, and they will fancy their chances of establishing themselves as a European heavyweight this season.
Newcastle also have high hopes of achieving domestic success, having come agonisingly close to Carabao Cup triumph before losing out to Manchester United.
Eddie Howe will be determined to end the club’s long wait for silverware, but featuring in Europe’s most prestigious tournament for the first time in two decades will also get the fans buzzing for the new season.
Here is our Newcastle season preview for 2023/24. You can also check out our detailed Premier League season previews for all 20 teams.
Newcastle will trade tackles with Aston Villa at St. James’ Park in their opening game of the Premier League season on August 12.
The Magpies then take on champions Manchester City (A) and Liverpool (H) back to back in what should prove a challenging start to the season for Howe’s side.
Newcastle’s December fixtures feature high-profile games against Man United (H), Tottenham Hotspur (A) and Liverpool (A).
But they stand a chance of picking up a couple of points amidst the daunting fixture list when they travel to newly-promoted Luton Town before Christmas and then host Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day.
Newcastle’s final three matches of the campaign feature a trip to Turf Moor to face Burnley on May 4 before hosting Brighton & Hove Albion on May 11. They conclude the season away to Brentford on May 19.
Newcastle has experienced a remarkable transformation under Howe’s leadership, with the Englishman at the forefront of the club’s push for a spot amongst Europe’s elite.
Last season, their defensive solidity laid the foundation for their success, with the Magpies boasting the joint-best defence in the division – on par with Man City.
Howe has ensured the club’s days of flirting with relegation are in the past, and winning silverware would be the cherry on top of his efforts in the dugout.
It remains to be seen how Newcastle will fare in the Champions League, but their non-existent European pedigree does not bode well for their chances of going very far in the tournament.
Newcastle have spent over £100 million in the transfer market this summer. Sandro Tonali has been the headline arrival at St. James’ Park thus far, with the Italian costing the club £60m.
The 23-year-old was regarded as one of the finest midfielders in the Italian top flight, having made 130 appearances for AC Milan and played a vital role in their Scudetto-winning campaign.
However, eyebrows were raised when Newcastle splashed the cash to sign him despite already having Bruno Guimaraes in midfield – a player with a similar profile to Tonali.
Guimaraes has been utilised as a defensive midfielder since arriving at the Tyneside club. But his vast abilities can be more damaging to the opposition when deployed further up the pitch.
It was anticipated that Newcastle would sign an out-and-out defensive midfielder to relieve the Brazilian of the role. But Tonali’s arrival could see Guimaraes remain at the base of the midfield this season.
Newcastle have also recruited Harvey Barnes, who could prove a shrewd acquisition for the Magpies after an impressive goalscoring campaign at Leicester City.
The Englishman was their top scorer last season with 13 goals and will undoubtedly bolster Newcastle’s goalscoring options in the final third.
Meanwhile, Allan Saint-Maximin could be the only significant departure from Newcastle this summer, with the Frenchman set for a move to the Saudi Pro League.
The Magpies may need to sign more players considering they will be competing in four tournaments this season.
But they are wary of Financial Fair Play sanctions and may need to sell to facilitate further recruitment this summer.
Howe’s 4-3-3 set-up was fundamental to the club’s success last season and should remain the same with Nick Pope between the sticks.
Kieran Trippier, Fabian Schar, Sven Botman, and Dan Burn formed one of the best defensive line-ups in the division last term, so there is no reason for it to change.
Meanwhile, Tonali should partner Guimaraes and Joelinton in the middle of the park, with the likes of Elliot Anderson, Joe Willock, Sean Longstaff and Anthony Gordon providing additional support.
Howe will have a tough time deciding who leads the attack, with Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson more than capable options.
However, Wilson will likely get the nod at centre-forward, having been the club’s top scorer last season with 18 Premier League goals.
Isak would likely start on the left flank but is expected to shuffle places with Wilson occasionally, while Miguel Almiron takes up his usual position on the right wing.
Here is our prediction for Aston Villa’s strongest starting XI next season:
4-3-3: Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Joelinton, Guimaraes, Tonali; Isak, Wilson, Almiron.
Guimaraes proved a good value-for-money signing for Newcastle last season as he demonstrated his versatility as a midfielder at St James’ Park.
Despite being primarily used, the Brazilian made 57 appearances for the Magpies last season, registering ten goals and six assists.
Guimaraes is an accomplished midfielder who excels in all phases of the game and has emerged as a leader in the Newcastle dressing room.
He played a key role in securing Champions League football for the team, and it will be interesting to see how he performs in the competition.
Isak would also be looking to break new grounds for Newcastle this season after his big-money arrival from Spain.
He only managed ten league goals last season, but his return was still impressive, considering he spent a chunk of the campaign in the treatment room.
Newcastle were impressive last season, but there is an unwavering sense that they were fortuitous to finish in the top four.
Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs had an off season, allowing the Magpies to snatch a Champions League spot, but that takes nothing away from their hard work.
However, with the traditional “top six” bolstering their teams to compete for Champions League places, Newcastle may struggle to maintain their top-four position this season but should still qualify for European competition.
Predicted finish: 7th
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