Ahead of today’s big kick-off, Newcastle fans and media pundits have been predicting where they think the Toon will finish this season.
After last season’s terrific campaign, the big question is – Can NUFC keep up their heroic efforts into a second season with Europa League football also on the calendar.
We’ve been chatting to fans on Twitter (@nufcfans) and here’s what you’ve been telling us:
Elsewhere, the media which wrote NUFC off time and time again waiting for the bubble to burst last season have also had their say. Here are some key predictions to get your head around.
Sky presenter Jeff Stelling thinks Newcastle can beat Chelsea, Spurs and Liverpool into 4th place this season. He tells the Independent:
“I’m sure a lot of people see Newcastle as one-hit wonders but they have the potential to do better this time, and they haven’t lost any big hitters.
“They also have Steven Taylor back. The only proviso would be that yet again there is an African Nations Cup, and they will have to strengthen before that comes round.”
A similar prediction (4th) comes from Robbie Earle, who told ESPN Press Pass that Newcastle can build on last season because they have a strong squad.
Elsewhere there’s a difference of opinion at the BBC. Senior football writer Phil McNulty thinks the Toon will end the season in 9th because of the Europa League distraction. Incidentally, McNulty said we’d finish 15th last season and this season he thinks Aston Villa will finish above us. Mark ‘Lawro’ Lawrenson, on the other hand thinks today’s encounter between Newcastle and Spurs is “a battle between teams who will probably finish fifth and sixth.“
In the Sun, Terry Venables is predicting 7th place for Newcastle. He thinks NUFC “will show it was no fluke [last season] by making another assault on the top six this time.” 7th is also where Sky Sports think Newcastle will finish. Jamie Redknapp says, “I don’t see why they can’t compete for the top four, but they may be a couple of players short.” ESPN don’t give us a league prediction, but Dale Johnson thinks Toon will win the Capital One Cup.
Daily Mail are going with 8th, adding “but if they somehow play as well as they did last season, it could be more.“
The final word goes to the Daily Star and their pretty pathetic predictions table. Newcastle 9th, Sunderland 8th, Everton 5th?? Really? Thanks for @DarylLowdon for the snap.
What a joke…