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Here’s Newcastle’s Main Competition In The Championship

6:04 pm, Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 77 Comments

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.

steve freeth

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.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Championship · Management · Newcastle News · Other News · Pre-season · Premier League

77 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Bobbybee // Jun 21, 2016 at 6:09 PM

    That’s a lot of points Ed! 😉

  • 2 Jib // Jun 21, 2016 at 6:13 PM
    I like David Batty putting the inert Lennon’s lgs out of play

  • 3 Jib // Jun 21, 2016 at 6:16 PM

    Was it 25 points for a win then ?

  • 4 Jib // Jun 21, 2016 at 6:17 PM

    That’s legs not lugs

  • 5 Jib // Jun 21, 2016 at 6:18 PM

    Munster’s right
    They do chant “Norn Iron”

  • 6 geordie157 // Jun 21, 2016 at 6:39 PM

    Wow that’s a lot of points! We’ll smash that under Rafa

  • 7 sing in the corner // Jun 21, 2016 at 6:49 PM

    Gan on NI! Only gone and done it! ‘Park the bus’ is proving more effective against quality opposition than you’d expect, which isn’t good entertainment for the neutral though. We’re not the only ones having bother breaking through it.

  • 8 Jib // Jun 21, 2016 at 6:53 PM

    A few Deutschlanders past their sell by date methinks !

  • 9 martoon // Jun 21, 2016 at 8:11 PM

    On the subject of National Anthems does anybody else think the Spanish on sounds like ‘We’ll row the Keel Row’?
    Lovely goal by Spain!

  • 10 Belfast // Jun 21, 2016 at 8:25 PM


    Now for the national anthem of England AND Northern Ireland…..

    God save the queen ONCE…

    Start game.

  • 11 Belfast // Jun 21, 2016 at 8:29 PM

    I like Italys myself.

  • 12 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:05 PM

    I like the Bajan one. I think it starts “Boom Shakalak! Wine’ yor bodeeee..” but I may have misheard it 🙂

  • 13 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:06 PM

    Italy you say Belfast? Can you hum a few bars I might remember it

  • 14 Belfast // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:29 PM

    Check out how far the goalkeeper was off his line there lol

  • 15 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:31 PM

    Ha ha the keeper nearly took it himself. Justice though that was a cheaty dive by villa.

  • 16 Belfast // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:33 PM

    Ok Skunki drums roll..

    Italiaaaaaaaa italiaaaaaaaa Italiaaaaaaa italiaaaaaaaaa

    Bom bom bom ba bom ba bom

    Italia Italia Italia de de de

  • 17 Belfast // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:34 PM

    Other versions are available

  • 18 Belfast // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:34 PM

    But they won’t be as good as mine.

  • 19 Belfast // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:35 PM

    Bom ba da bom ba da bom bom bom bom !

  • 20 Belfast // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:36 PM

    Nailed it that time.

  • 21 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:37 PM

    Oh yes that IS a good tune.

  • 22 Belfast // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:38 PM

    Bom ba da bom ba da bom bom bom bom bom de de de de de de de

    Italia italia

  • 23 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:39 PM

    Croatia not a bad side really, making Spain look a bit shaky at times

  • 24 ShirebrookToon // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:39 PM

    Croatia look very impressive tonight

  • 25 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:39 PM

    Alright alright man Belfast that’s enough I can’t hear myself think..

  • 26 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:41 PM

    Can’t get that out of my head now thanks for that

  • 27 Belfast // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:41 PM

    Apologies I was a little disappointed with my first effort.

  • 28 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:44 PM

    “Wriggle yor’

    Oh get in!

  • 29 ShirebrookToon // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:45 PM

    Get in! Great bit of counter attacking by Croatia

  • 30 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:45 PM

    Oh dear Spain face italy ha ha one down then

  • 31 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:46 PM

    Bom ba da Bom ba da bom… 🙂

  • 32 ShirebrookToon // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:46 PM

    De Gea should have saved that like. Spain V Italy last 16

  • 33 clinath@ed // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:48 PM

    Is there no such thing as a foul throw anymore?

  • 34 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:49 PM

    Aye near post always a sign of lack of concentration. Took a slight dink off a foot but still, dodgy keeper moment.

  • 35 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:50 PM

    Clinath- no mate it went out with shoulder barges, obstruction and honesry.

  • 36 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:51 PM

    Japanese Honesry.

  • 37 clinath@ed // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:52 PM

    Never understood that ” he shouldn’t be beaten at the near post” comment. Why not? If it’s past him, it’s past him….what does it matter which side?

  • 38 clinath@ed // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:52 PM

    Ah so!

  • 39 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:52 PM

    I said villa before I meant silva oops someone fetch Jib he will want to run the wanyamometer over this one. 🙂

  • 40 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:53 PM

    Clinath – it’s a sacred tenet of a keeper to guard his near post. It gives the striker all the work to do showing him the longest angle.

  • 41 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:54 PM

    Plus he should have come out to him, even worse imo

  • 42 ShirebrookToon // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:56 PM

    What the fcuk is the point of those officials that stand on the goal lines. Fcuking useless he, had clear sight of the penalty that shouldn’t have been given!!

  • 43 clinath@ed // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:56 PM

    I understand that Tsunki, but a gap is a gap is gap…if you follow.

  • 44 Jail for Ashley // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:56 PM

    It took a deflection.
    We’ve been seriously lucky, probably had the easiest group and second faces second rather than first.

  • 45 Jail for Ashley // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:58 PM


  • 46 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:58 PM

    Sorry clinath I realise it sounded patronising. I think it’s de Gea not coming out and narrowing the shot that that name mostly. If he’s in the right place in front of him the goal is virtually impossible to hit.

  • 47 GeordieTwo // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:04 PM

    We ended up with 1023 points from 46 matches? That is very impressive. I would have been happy with 138 points…..

  • 48 clinath@ed // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:04 PM

    Not patronised at all mate. I agree about narrowing the angle, but by definition if you get the angle right, there should be the same gap each side…..getting a bit pedantic now, I think it’s me age 😉

  • 49 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:05 PM

    G2 that wasn’t us it was Newcatsle

  • 50 GeordieTwo // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:05 PM

    Very weird second half with Spain and Croatia. On the penalty, the keeper was 3 yards off his line when the kick was taken. Why bother having any rules at all? Spain were far too timid. Croatia earned the win but what a poor effort on the penalty. Who picked Ramos?

  • 51 GeordieTwo // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:08 PM

    But 1023 points Tsunki mate. That must be some kind of record from one season? I’m just having a go at Ed. I’m sure we didn’t quite get that. Still I’m quite upset about that referee and his lot. Go back to refereeing school you lot. I could called for a re-take on that one. I mean 3 yards off the line is hard to miss.

  • 52 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:08 PM

    Wine’ an go oop-ahhh, wine’ an’ go dowwwn-ahh, wine’ yor bodeee to dee noo styl’ soun’….

  • 53 welshgeordie9 // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:08 PM


    What makes you think that you deserved 1st place, first of all you have got to earn rather than just giving it to you, and secondly well you haven’t played that well otherwise strangely enough you would have finished top, simple really.

    Easiest group my arse, so easy you’ve messed it up.

    Ha ha ha

  • 54 jane // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:09 PM

    Germany, Italy, Spain, France and England are all in the same half of the draw.

  • 55 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:10 PM

    Well the goal line visually impaired assistant failed with the penalty award, then failed when the goalie came out before it was taken so it evened itself out.

  • 56 GeordieTwo // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:12 PM

    Completely useless if the officials don’t stick to the rules. Might as well have Helen Keller doing it. Or Stevie Wonder. I would pick Stevie Wonder as he has a better voice.

  • 57 GeordieTwo // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:14 PM

    welshie even sounds bitter when his team are winning. Strange. Just accept your team’s play with pride welshie. They’ve done a tremendous job in a weak group. And I know the group contains England.

  • 58 GeordieTwo // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:16 PM

    I’m already preparing a plan in case Wales win the tournament (it won’t happen I know). I’m hiring some former SAS lads to steal the trophy and hide it at Tsunki’s flat. It’s a bit of a state in there. Nobody will ever find it…..

  • 59 GeordieTwo // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:17 PM

    Just a pathetic second half from Spain. Not guts, no glory.

  • 60 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:20 PM

    Steady on Welsh it’s a good run for your team but you might have you keep your powder dry until you’ve played in the knockouts. Russia couldn’t Park the bus like they did against England as they were doomed if they didn’t come out and play you. That’s why they were exposed as rubbish. Slovakia knew a draw would be their best bet for qualifying 3rd rather than conceding if they came out to play England.

    The knockouts are the real test as there are no draws and nowhere to hide the closer you get to the semis. Let’s wait and see. Btw that’s not to say I think England are any good, or that Roy has his tactics right.

  • 61 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:22 PM

    G2 – it’s a bungalow not a flat. Fat bald schizophrenic gender- confused dwarves find flats difficult to manage. But you are right, it’s a dump.

  • 62 bettyswallocks // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:22 PM

    Tsunki….. Hi Hooooooooooooooh.

    Sorry couldn’t resist.

  • 63 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:25 PM

    You gotta wine’ it oop an’ den yoo grine’ it oop…

    Actually I think that’s the Lichtenstein anthem..

  • 64 GeordieTwo // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:25 PM

    How did you know I was schizophrenic Tsunki mate? Just a minute a voice in my head is trying to explain it to me……

  • 65 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:26 PM

    Betty I was going to join in “it’s off to work we go..” but you wouldn’t have known what I was talking about oooohhh harsh!


  • 66 GeordieTwo // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:28 PM

    I do like dwarves. Next to midgets they’re my second favourite people.

  • 67 GeordieTwo // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:29 PM

    Midgets always get the short end of the stick though…..

  • 68 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:31 PM

    BoJo’s on the box. Always makes me laugh. I loved him doing that stand-up in Beijing Olympics with that silly baggy clown suit and the look of bewilderment. Quality turn, that lad

  • 69 GeordieTwo // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:33 PM

    Some strange managerial decisions in the tournament. Roy making 6 changes after a win, del Bosque leaving Iniesta in there today and letting Ramos take the penalty. What are those boys thinking? I mean really….

  • 70 bettyswallocks // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:34 PM

    I like a little un with a flat head.

  • 71 GeordieTwo // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:35 PM

    BoJo’s middle name is de Pfeffel apparently. Boris de Pfeffel? That would take a lot of beating. His parents must be real comedians as well….

  • 72 welshgeordie9 // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:36 PM

    Not bitter GeordieTwo, just hate comments like we should have won this group, sounds like we are the best and should automatically win regardless, like i said you have got to earn it not just given to you.

  • 73 GeordieTwo // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:38 PM

    Good point welshie. We didn’t deserve to win the group. Very poor in 2 of the 3 matches so far. No real cutting edge.

  • 74 bettyswallocks // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:40 PM

    I ran into the back of someone at the traffic lights the other day. A little guy jumped out and came over shaking his fist. He said, ” I’m not happy”. I said,” Which one are you then”

  • 75 bettyswallocks // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:50 PM

    Tsunki has at last revealed his true identity . He is a psychic midget on the run from the law. In other words he’s a small medium at large.

    This evening he’s having some friends over for drinks. A little gathering.

  • 76 jimmysmith // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:51 PM

    Woy and Cahill have been a bit silly saying somewhere along the line someone’s due a hiding. What is that, false bravado or desperation? And where exactly along the line would that be considering it’s likely Portugal next, France, then presumably an entirely excellent side. Far more likely they’ll be going home at the next available opportunity, after failing to score in the next match than handing out any “real beatings”. I like this team, but that’s nonsense.

  • 77 Yo-yo // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:56 PM


    The English do have this strange sense of entitlement when it comes to their national team, and will always make some kind of excuse to diminish the achievements of other UK teams when they themselves get shown up as mediocre. Its often the same with Rugby.

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