Rafael Benitez took a gamble by staying with Newcastle in the Championship, and it paid off handsomely as the club finished 1st and returned to the Premier League at the first time of asking. The club’s reward is a big opening home fixture against back-to-back title challengers Tottenham Hotspur.
The first meeting between promoted sides comes in match week two as Huddersfield host the Magpies in the club’s first home Premier League match in 45 years. Last season in the Championship, both sides were victorious at the other’s ground, so the Toon Army will be hoping for better fortunes in the top division.
Dwight Gayle and the Magpies welcome Benitez’ former club Liverpool to St. James Park while the reverse fixture comes in March. The sides drew 2-2 two seasons ago at Anfield against the club Benitez managed for six seasons.
Newcastle’s holiday season gets going with a huge home Boxing Day fixture against Pep Guardiola and Manchester City before traveling to the bet365 Stadium to take on Stoke City, where Newcastle have lost their past four matches.
Benitez welcomes champions Chelsea, another of his former clubs, to St. James Park on the final day of the season where he hopes to be celebrating Premier League safety…