There’s a good article in the Chronicle today with Bet365’s Steve Freeth, who talks all about why Newcastle are red-hot favorites to not only get promoted at the first attempt in the coming season, but why we are 9/4 to win the Championship.
We hope Steve is right about that and he believes Newcastle will walk away with the title, much as we did in 2009-2010 – but back then we had a great finish to the season.
After losing 3-0 at Derby County on February 9th – our biggest defeat of the season – we finished the remaining 17 games unbeaten with 13 wins and four draws to end up with a massive 1023 points.
Bet365’s Steve Freeth
In this part of the interview with Steve Freeth he talks about what competition Newcastle will have next season:
“Looking at the rivals for Newcastle, Villa have got a really big rebuilding process to go through.”
“I’m not a massive fan of Roberto Di Matteo, even if he got the Albion up, but Steve Clarke as number two is a masterstroke. They are our second favorites but there’s a lot of work to do there.”
“Norwich are a solid club. They might lose players like Robbie Brady but they’ll be there or thereabouts.”
“Then Derby, who are 11-1. There’s a lot of interest in them and I do think they’ll be competitive under Nigel Pearson. There’s not going to be a lot of business there, but he’s got a ready-made Championship squad there.
“Derby and Middlesbrough were the big movers last summer – they were 12-1 at the start of the summer but then were backed into 6-1 and that was basically because they spent a bit of money. That’s always going to alert the punters.”
“Next up Brighton and I like what Chris Hughton has done there but they probably punched above their weight last season, and then it’s down to Fulham – who were very average last season.”
“And Ipswich, but Mick McCarthy is always going to be working with one hand behind his back.”
“A lot people like the look of Sheffield Wednesday as well, they spent a bit last season and they went a long way last season.”
“But when you take all of that into account – the quality of the rivals and Newcastle’s own strength – Newcastle tick a lot of boxes that you want to be ticked if you’re looking for favorites.”
What will be very important next season is that we get off to a very good start and the fixture list is due to be announced tomorrow – so we’ll have some idea how tough our start will be.