Rafael Benitez rescued a poor season last year as the Magpies finished 10th.

Newcastle United Premier League Fixtures, Squad, Guide

Newcastle punched above their weight on their return to the Premier League last season but these are still uncertain times. Mike Ashley is trying to sell the club and transfer funds are limited for manager Rafa Benitez. South Korean midfielder Ki Sung-yueng Ki, signed on a free transfer from Swansea City, looks a decent addition, while a permanent deal has been agreed for Slovakian goalkeeper Martin Dubravka (Sparta Prague, £3.5m) and Brazilian winger Kenedy has returned on loan again from Chelsea.

Annual wage bill – £112.2m (2017)

Annual income – £85.7m (2017)

Stadium St James’ Park (52,404)

Odds – 500/1 to win Premier League

FAN’S VIEW

Alex Hurst, True Faith fanzine, true-faith.co.uk

LAST SEASON WAS… 

It started badly, got much better, then much worse and finally much, much better. Tenth place for a newly promoted side that was outspent by almost every club in the division was a brilliant achievement.

OUR BIGGEST HERO 

Jamaal Lascelles. A captain in his early twenties who forced his way into the side and into the hearts of supporters.

OUR BIGGEST VILLAIN 

No surprises for guessing that it’s Mike Ashley. Me or you could run the club as it just spends its own money. But what’s the point of having a billionaire owner?

YOUNGSTER TO WATCH 

Sadly none. The state of United’s academy is so poor that no youngsters look like remotely threatening the first team. Club legend Peter Beardsley remains suspended for allegations of using racially offensive language towards youngsters at the club. What a mess.

Mo Diame was Newcastle’s unsung hero last season (Getty Images)

MOST UNDERRATED PLAYER

Mo Diame. He cost £3m and humiliated Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante and Granit Xhaka last season.

HOPES & FEARS FOR 2018-19 

The great fear is that last season was the ceiling for a side of which eight of the starting XI are players that played in the Championship. Lack of ambition and investment in the team could see Rafa Benitez walk away when his contact expires in June 2019.

Newcastle United Premier League Squad

Name Age/d.o.b. Signed/prev club

GOALKEEPERS
Karl Darlow (27) 08.10.90 2014 / Nottingham Forest
Martin Dubravka (Slk) (29) 15.01.89 2018 / Sparta Prague (CzR)
Rob Elliot (RoI) (32) 30.04.86 2011 / Charlton Athletic
Matz Sels (Blg) (26) 26.02.92 2016 / Gent (Blg)
Freddie Woodman (21) 04.03.97 2013 / Crystal Palace

DEFENDERS
Ciaran Clark (RoI) (28) 26.09.89 2016 / Aston Villa
Jack Colback (28) 24.10.89 2014 / Sunderland
Paul Dummett (Wal) (26) 26.09.91 2000 / youth
Jamaal Lascelles (24) 11.11.93 2014 / Nottingham Forest
Achraf Lazaar (Mor) (26) 22.01.92 2016 / Palermo (Ita)
Florian Lejeune (Fra) (27) 20.05.91 2017 / Eibar (Spa)
Javier Manquillo (Spa) (24) 05.05.94 2017 / Atletico Madrid (Spa)
Jamie Sterry (22) 21.11.95 2011/ youth
DeAndre Yedlin (USA) (25) 09.07.93 2016 / Tottenham Hotspur
Federico Fernandez (Arg) (29) 21.02.1989 2018 / Swansea City
Fabian Schar (Sui) (26) 20.12.1991 2018 / Deportivo La Coruna

MIDFIELDERS
Rolando Aarons (22) 16.11.95 2012 / Bristol City
Christian Atsu (Gha) (26) 10.01.92 2017 / Chelsea
Mohamed Diame (Sen) (31) 14.06.87 2016 / Hull City
Isaac Hayden (23) 22.03.95 2016 / Arsenal
Kenedy (Bra) (22) 08.02.96 2018 / Chelsea
Ki Sung-yueng (SKo) (29) 24.01.89 2018 / Swansea City
Jacob Murphy (23) 24.02.95 2017 / Norwich City
Matt Ritchie (Sco) (28) 10.09.89 2016 / Bournemouth
Henri Saivet (Fra) (27) 26.10.90 2016 / Bordeaux (Fra)
Jonjo Shelvey (26) 27.02.92 2016 / Swansea City
Mikel Merino (Spa) (22) 22.07.1996 2018 / Borussia Dortmund

FORWARDS
Dwight Gayle (28) 17.10.89 2016 / Crystal Palace
Joselu (Spa) (28) 27.03.90 2017 / Stoke City
Ayoze Perez (Spa) (24) 29.07.93 2014 / Tenerife (Spa)
Jose Rondon (Ven) (28) 16.09.1989 2018 / West Brom
Yoshinori Muto (Jap) (26) 15.07.1992 2018 / FSV Mainz

MANAGER
Rafael Benitez (Spa) (58) 16.04.60 2016 / Real Madrid (Spa)

Rafael Benitez of Newcastle United (getty Images)

Newcastle United Premier League Fixtures

Aug 11 Spurs (h) – lost 2-1

Aug 18 Cardiff (a)

Aug 26 Chelsea (h)

Sep 1 Man City (a)

Sep 15 Arsenal (h)

Sep 22 Crystal Palace (a)

Sep 29 Leicester (h)

Oct 6 Man Utd (a)

Oct 20 Brighton (h)

Oct 27 Southampton (a)

Nov 3 Watford (h)

Nov 10 Bournemouth (h)

Nov 24 Burnley (a)

Dec 1 West Ham (h)

Dec 5 Everton (a)

Dec 8 Wolves (h)

Dec 15 Huddersfield (a)

Dec 22 Fulham (h)

Dec 26 Liverpool (a)

Dec 29 Watford (a)

Jan 1 Man Utd (h)

Jan 12 Chelsea (a)

Jan 19 Cardiff (h)

Jan 30 Man City (h)

FEb 2 Spurs (a)

Feb 9 Wolves (a)

Feb 23 Huddersfield (h)

Feb 27 Burnley (h)

Mar 2 West Ham (a)

Mar 9 Everton (h)

Mar 16 Bournemouth (a)

Mar 30 Arsenal (a)

Apr 6 Crystal Palace (h)

Apr 13 Leicester (a)

Apr 20 Southampton (h)

Apr 27 Brighton (a)

May 4 Liverpool (h)

May 12 Fulham (a)

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