Long-term success won’t come for Newcastle overnight but there have already been a lot of promising signs for the Magpies since Howe took charge and their ownership changed. Newcastle went from favourites to be relegated to securing their safety pretty comfortably, finishing the season in 11th, just two points outside the top half and a massive 14 clear of the drop zone.
While that will have been good enough in the Mike Ashley era, this is just the start for Newcastle and they have kicked on from that for the 2022/23 campaign. After signing Bruno Guimaraes and Kieran Trippier last January, Newcastle added a further five players to their first-team over the summer, strengthening in key areas. Matt Targett’s loan from Aston Villa was made permanent, while Sven Botman and Nick Pope have also been brought in to shore up the defence. Loris Karius was signed as backup for Pope while Alexander Isak was the big-name signing up front, joining for a club-record £59m.
There would have still been doubts surrounding Newcastle and what they are capable of, but as we return from the World Cup break, the Magpies are continuing to fly high. After 18 games played, Newcastle are looking pretty comfortable in the top four in the Premier League, five points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham, albeit having played one match more.
No Premier League team has lost fewer games than Newcastle this season, with their sole defeat coming in a dramatic 2-1 loss to Liverpool at Anfield in which Jurgen Klopp’s side scored in the eighth minute of injury-time, after a minimum of five had been signalled. While a defeat of that manner could have derailed a team’s momentum and affected them mentally, Newcastle have built a 13-match unbeaten run which has seen them pick up some good results. After two perhaps underwhelming draws against Crystal Palace and Bournemouth, Newcastle thrashed Fulham and Brentford 4-1 and 5-1 respectively. They then held Man Utd to a goalless draw before embarking on a six-match winning run.
That run saw them beat Everton, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Southampton, Chelsea and Leicester, scoring 15 goals and conceding just twice. Sure, it may have come to an end with a pair of draws against Arsenal and Leeds, but the Magpies have the best defence in the Premier League, conceding just 11 goals with Nick Pope keeping 10 clean sheets.
As a result, Newcastle are 10/11 with Paddy Power, to finish in the top four of the Premier League this season, having been 15/2 around the start of the campaign, while also having shorter odds than Tottenham and Chelsea.
Find the latest Premier League top four odds for the 2022/2023 season here:
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Newcastle January Transfer odds
Having now put down a marker of their intent to gatecrash the top four in double-quick time, Howe may feel the January transfer window is an opportune moment to bring fresh impetus to his squad and maintain Newcastle’s current momentum.
The Magpies are firing on all cylinders and playing some sumptuous football, but they will be wary that form can change at any moment; and as such, one or two fresh recruits could just help to reinforce their ambition and ensure complacency doesn’t creep in.
Considering Howe did not have a single out-and-out central midfielder on the bench in Monday’s 3-0 win over Leicester — with Jonjo Shelvey out for the foreseeable future — it’s a position he may look to bulk up over the next few weeks.
Among those who have been linked with a move include World Cup superstar Sofyan Amrabat, whose enterprising midfield exploits helped carry Morocco to a history-making semi-final appearance. Linked with Tottenham last January, the Fiorentina man has once again emerged as a Premier League target.
Sky Bet are offering odds of 6/1 on the 26-year-old following in the footsteps of his older brother Nordin and relocating to the English top flight, only in the North East instead of Hertfordshire. A tenacious ball-winner, Amrabat’s industry could work wonders to unlock Bruno Guimaraes further up the pitch.
James Maddison is another midfield option Howe could turn to, particularly for an adrenaline shot of creativity.
Subject of interest from the Magpies in the summer, the Leicester playmaker is still reportedly on the club’s radar and would add an enviably skilful flavour to Howe’s already-potent porridge. Among English players, only Harry Kane (35) and Ivan Toney (24) have more goal involvements than him in 2022 (23).
With relatively short odds of 1/1, Newcastle are the favourites (according to bookmakers) for his signature if the still once-capped England international leaves the King Power next month. The prospect of Maddison linking up with the likes of Guimaraes and Miguel Almiron is a tantalising proposition, particularly with Howe pulling the leaving behind the curtain.
Azzedine Ounahi (25/1) was another Moroccan star in Qatar and has thrust his name into the limelight with his bustling performances in the heart of Walid Regragui’s midfield. The 22-year-old currently plies his trade with Angers, so Newcastle wouldn’t necessarily have to compromise their entire transfer kitty on his pursuit.
Plenty of clubs will be eyeing up his services following those breathtaking, ball-carrying performances on the Persian Gulf. In fact, of the 39 players who attempted at least 10 take-ons at the World Cup, Ounahi had the best take-on success rate with 76.92%. No other player managed above the 70% mark.
Howe has a tremendous track record with tricky wide players (think David Brooks, Ryan Fraser and Josh King at Bournemouth), so why not test the resolve of Chelsea with a bid for the seemingly unfavored Christian Pulisic? With odds of 3/1 for the American to pitch up on Tyneside, there may be substance to the links.
The mercurial winger has blown hot and cold at Stamford Bridge since moving from Borussia Dortmund and may be considering an escape hatch to revitalise a career that has stagnated in the capital. In an environment up north where he would be the centrepiece star, it’s a move that could suit both parties.
Howe’s arm-over-the-shoulder, allow-attacking-players-to-thrive approach could prove the perfect antidote for Pulisic to explode into life.
Of course, with Newcastle now having the reputation as football’s richest club, there truly isn’t a transfer that can be considered off limits, hence why there are markets each for the likes of Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice, Joao Felix and even… Kylian Mbappe. Could Newcastle pull off something truly special?
Newcastle UEL Qualification odds
4:00 pm Sunday May 28
Newcastle UnitedTo finish in the top six of the 2022/23 Premier League
Even if Newcastle do tail away slightly in the race for the top four — though that seems unlikely right now — a top six finish shouldn’t be out of the question. Last season in the Premier League it felt as if no one wanted to secure a top six finish, with Manchester United and West Ham both losing on the final day of the season, the latter missing an opportunity to leapfrog the Red Devils.
It has been a long time since Newcastle finished in the top six of the Premier League, last managing to do so in 2011/12 when they finished fifth. That secured a spot in the Europa League play-off round as the group stage spot went to fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur after sixth-placed Chelsea won the Champions League.
After beating Atromitos, Newcastle rubbed shoulders with the likes of Bordeaux, Maritimo and Club Brugge in the group stage, finishing second. The Magpies then knocked out Hannover and Anzhi Makhachkala before losing to eventual runners-up Benfica in the quarter-finals.
Newcastle are currently 1/6 to finish in the top six of the Premier League this season.
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Newcastle to win a cup odds
Away from the Premier League, Newcastle fans may fancy their chances of a good cup run, especially if the bigger sides opt to prioritise the league and European competitions in what is a strange season due to the World Cup break. The Magpies haven’t won a major trophy since the 1954/55 FA Cup and haven’t reached the final of a cup since the 2001/02 Uefa Intertoto Cup.
Howe’s side were given a solid start in the EFL Cup, drawn against League Two side Tranmere Rovers in the second round, winning 2-1 away from home with a rotated XI. They have since gone on to beat Premier League rivals Crystal Palace — winning 3-2 on penalties after a 0-0 — and most recently Bournemouth. Howe’s men have subsequently drawn Leicester City at home in the quarter-finals.
They also face Sheffield Wednesday away in the third round of the FA Cup this weekend.
There are a lot of markets on offer surrounding the Premier League this season and, of course, they are ever-changing due to the amount of games being played. But as we return from the World Cup break, Newcastle are currently 6/5 with Sky Bet to finish higher than Manchester United this season, and 2/7 for Chelsea.
The Magpies are also top of the charts at 1/8 for Sky Bet in their Winner Without The Big 6 market.