This time last year I was full of dread for the season ahead and expected us to be involved in a relegation scrap until the final game, if not being relegated ultimately. Fast forward one year and a top half finish later and I feel more nervous for the season ahead. With teams like Wolves and Fulham coming up, I don't see them going straight back down with the players they possess and style of football they play. Therefore, with Newcastle not improving enough in this transfer window they are in serious dangerous of being involved in a tighter and longer relegation battle this season.
What do I expect from Newcastle this season? I expect it to be a very long and tough season, especially with our first five fixtures looking extremely difficult. Newcastle will be involved in a relegation fight for the majority of the season, if not the whole season. This will also include some highlights (hopefully) in a few more home wins this season and getting to watch Kenedy play a whole season in the Black and White is sure to be exciting.
If Rafa Benitez is to pull off an even bigger miracle than last year he is going to have to beg Lee Charnley to sign him a proven striker. Currently, it is looking like Solomon Rondon is going to be Rafa's striker signing for this season. Whilst this doesn't fill me with confidence and excitement, if he comes in, gives 110% and scores six or more goals it will be seen as a decent signing by Benitez.
I'm confident that Newcastle will have enough to stay up this season. However, they will be relying heavily on Ayoze Perez continuing his stunning form from the end of last season. This is the same for Martin Dubravka, Kenedy, Jonjo Shelley and Jamaal lascelles. These players were the core players that gave Newcastle a much needed lift after January.
For this season, I expect it to be very similar to last season. Rafa sets the team up to not get beat every game, ask teams to break us down then try and steal the win on a counter attack. This is our best chance of staying in the league for another season as we don't have the quality to create a load of chances and dominate possession for a whole game. This brand of football can be seen as boring by many (especially Garry Neville and Jamie Carragher) but it's what the team is good at and is the best way too get results over the whole season,.
Final prediction: 15th
What are your expectations Newcastle fans? Let us know in the comments below!