In four weeks time the Premier League kicks off for Newcastle United.

It is only 14 months since NUFC exited the top tier, to a large extent it will be unknown territory.

The team is much changed from who Newcastle were relying on back in 2015/16 and hopefully these next few weeks will see the current team/squad see more significant changes.

However, if Newcastle United go into the Premier League with exactly this squad, what would be their chances of finishing above each of the other 19 clubs?

This is my personal judgement on United’s percentage chance of ending up above each of our rivals:

Arsenal 3%

Bournemouth 20%

Brighton 50%

Burnley 30%

Chelsea 3%

Crystal Palace 30%

Everton 5%

Huddersfield 60%

Leicester City 10%

Liverpool 2%

Man. City 1%

Man United 2%

Southampton 15%

Stoke City 20%

Swansea City 30%

Tottenham 2%

Watford 40%

West Brom 25%

West Ham 25%

You can never say never but Manchester City have so many good players and Newcastle can’t even afford the ones they are releasing, so a near impossibility.

The likes of Spurs, Liverpool, Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea are pretty much the same but you can still maybe hold onto the fact that we have finished fifth in that fluky one season under Mike Ashley’s ownership, plus each of those clubs have at some time in recent seasons shown they can finish fifth or lower. Grasping at very thin straws though.

With Everton’s transfer activity, I would say that it rubber stamps that they should really be in that top group but again if you are an eternal optimist you could hope for them imploding with so many new players and Newcastle performing some kind of miracle.

I see other clubs such as Southampton and Leicester as having such strong squads these days, light years ahead of NUFC at the minute.

Then you have West Brom, Stoke and Bournemouth, all well managed teams in different ways and I honestly think it would be an achievement to get ahead of any of them unless they have something seriously go wrong. I would add West Ham to that level, they have some decent players and should have more ambitions than the other trio – but they still show signs of instability.

You then get to the four clubs who flirted with relegation last season with Watford, Crystal Palace, Swansea and Burnley.

Of the four clubs, Palace have the better players and Burnley the best team spirit. Swansea and Watford have been rocking at times and having both had a number of management changes, they are especially vulnerable to possible relegation.

Which then leaves us with the two clubs Newcastle were promoted with.

I rate Newcastle as no more than 50/50 to be above Brighton, how can you when there was nothing between the teams last season and I certainly can’t claim Newcastle have strengthened more than Chris Hughton’s side.

As for Huddersfield, I was tempted to rate them 50/50 as well, they have spent around £40m so far and are having a real go. On the face of it they have improved their first eleven significantly from last season so difficult to see NUFC having much superiority, if any, at the minute.

Some of you may see the above as a negative outlook but I think it is just realistic as things stand.

If another goalscorer who is at least as good as Gayle comes in, plus a creative attacking midfielder/winger of a similar standard, then I think it definitely takes Newcastle up a few notches, particularly if one or two other positions are strengthened, especially left-back.

The reality though is Newcastle haven’t shown ambition as yet in the transfer market and it would be foolhardy to believe that NUFC have a better squad than any of the 17 clubs who were in the Premier League last season.

It isn’t impossible to finish above any of them but in the real world, it is to varying degrees less likely to happen, than it is to happen.

The scales need tipping!

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

  • 1957

    So based on this we are likely to be relegated…

    Hasta La Rafalución

  • anyobrien

    Stopped reading half way you need to get out more…

  • Leazes Ender

    A 2% chance of ending up above Arsenal Liverpool etc…. haha ..only if there are cataclysmic fatality rate in their squads.

    • I think you seriously overestimate Arsenal and Liverpool. I say are chances are north of 5% even. If Pardew can get Newcastle 5th without big name signings then Rafa can also do it. All of those invincible teams rely solely on 1-2 main players. Why is nobody making bids for anyone besides Sanchez and Ozil from Arsenal? The rest are just as good/bad as any other regular in the Prem. Same with Liverpool, take away the two Brazilians and you have an average squad with a really poor GK to boot! Sorry, but having 2 real quality players does not make our chances 2% as we have an equally good manager.

      • Leazes Ender

        I didn’t know that Liverpool had appointed Pardew, that is surprising.

        • I don’t see is packing a Pardew either, my point is that if we can get 1-2 quality players we can certainly challenge the top 8 with Rafa. That’s all the difference there is between us and Liverpool/Arsenal. They don’t have a 300 Mln bench like City, Chelsea and United, just your average wanting to break big potential talents.

          • Leazes Ender

            The only difference between United and the top seven is about twenty years and a million miles.

  • Franzcarrsuperstar

    The season hasn’t even started and we’re rating our chances of finishing above Watford, Burnley and Huddersfield. I’m not sure how helpful any of this is.

    Probably best to just get everyone fit and raring to go and get stuck in. A good start could make all the difference, and then we might be able to finish above loads of these teams.

    I don’t really froth at the mouth about lack of incoming players. Not at this stage anyhow. The stuff that always got me angry was selling our best players and getting rid of good managers etc.

    So it would be a different story if I wake up tomorrow and we’ve accepted bids for Shelvey, Ritchie, Gayle, Clark etc. But it actually seems that the club want to let Rafa build on what he has and only sell what he doesn’t want. That is more important than anything to me – some confidence that our top player won’t just suddenly be flogged without warning.

    As long as I have that feeling, I’ll look forward to this season thank you very much. Chuffed to be back in the big leagues with a top manager and a squad of players much more hungry than a couple of years ago, and capable of digging in and fighting their way to success when needed, as proven by last year’s championship win at the first time of asking.

    Roll on Spurs… I can’t wait!

    • Leazes Ender

      A lot of use of personal pronouns there……. you seem deeply imbedded at the center of your world…..what colour is the sky?

      • Franzcarrsuperstar

        Black and white!

  • Martin

    The perfect article for your main comment contributor Leazes Ender. Whilst most realistic Newcastle fans will read this and see it as yet another silly negative article Leazes Ender will be reading with joy.

    • Leazes Ender

      ….. we’ll end up two thirds down the table, as I said what is positive and what is negative, didn’t you get what I was saying?

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        So you think we’ll not be relegated?

        • Leazes Ender

          I think we’ll be nowhere….tenth to fifteenth if Rafa doesn’t jump ship, what do the bookies think?

  • Sorry, but this article is super poor. Want my odds on every team winning the Prem – NO. Great managers make great teams, if Rafa sticks we will definitely be in the top 14 even if we don’t sign more than 1-2 additional players.

    • HarryHype59

      If only!

      • Don’t see the other managers having the experience and winning mentality Rafa has, so in a 50/50 match I say we are now favs to win it. Before with McClown and Pardew it was never a 50/50, because they had no plan B or any plan for that matter.

    • Leazes Ender

      …definitely top 14’…. haha

      • Yes, for the first year our goal should be most of all to stay up and see which players cut it at Prem level and look to build on that team. I doubt top 6 will change this year, but anything between that and 14 is up for grabs and the difference between teams isn’t that great.

  • TheNutJob

    using my super computer to analyze our position this season is, wait for it !

    • Leazes Ender

      A lot of folk have bought season tickets on the back of a ‘Raffalution’ or Chinese buyout…. they’ve been had.

  • Desree

    100% chance of relegation. Which I don’t mind to be honest. I don’t think nufc deserve to be in the EPL as the owner has such conempt for the game, fans and the business model.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      £10 says we will not go down

      • Desree

        £10 bets are now £50 bets in todays over inflated market Bobbi.

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Go on then, £50.

          To be clear, I am betting you that nufc will not be relegated in 2017/18 season and will start 2018/19 in the EPL.

          • Leazes Ender

            What do the bookies say?

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            My bet’s with Des’ree, you’re not having a piece of this action.

  • GC

    Percentage chance that is the silliest article I’ve ever read from tha Mag. 100

    • HarryHype59


  • HarryHype59

    I said weeks ago I would take 17th place this season. The author of this article will be labelled a doom merchant simply for bring honest and objective. This club will be in a mini league of weak EPL teams along with Watford, CP, Swansea, Burnley, Brighton and Huddersfield. The aim next season is survival due to lack of real investment from the owner. Hopefully Ashley will allow Rafa to bring in better quality players next year. That I am afraid is the reality of the “Rafalution”

  • Peter Stabler

    Just as well the game is played out on a football pitch then isn’t it?