Gabriel Agbonlahor has given his verdict on how he thinks Newcastle United’s Premier League campaign will pan out.

Former Aston Villa attacker and pundit Gabriel Agbonlahor believes that Newcastle United are set to enjoy another impressive season in the Premier League.

Speaking on TalkSport, Agbonlahor predicted that the Magpies would once again secure Champions League qualification this time around, having now seen the first round of Premier League fixtures. 

The retired winger foresees a third-place finish for Eddie Howe’s side. One better than the fourth-place spot that Newcastle earned last time out. Agbonlahor predicts that Newcastle will end the season behind Arsenal, but ahead of a resurgent Chelsea.

Newcastle United v Aston Villa - Premier League
Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images

Newcastle must embrace new challenges

Newcastle certainly made a statement with their 5-1 opening day victory over Aston Villa. The Tyneside outfit’s emphatic win set down a marker, letting the rest of the league know that their progress under Howe last time out was no one-off anomaly.

It is still very early days of course, but the club look to have strengthened well in the summer. Sandro Tonali and Harvey Barnes both improve Howe’s first team squad. No Premier League opponents will be taking the Magpies lightly this season, especially when they have to travel to St James’ Park.

However, their success last season has invited new challenges to contend with this time around, the most obvious being their participation in the Champions League. Newcastle will have to quickly get used to a more demanding schedule, and learn how to balance their European commitments with the task of maintaining their domestic form.

On top of that, teams will soon begin to change how they play against Howe’s men. The Magpies will face plenty of teams this season who set up against them with a very defensive mindset from the off. How Newcastle will cope with the task of reliably breaking down those diligent and determined low blocks remains to be seen.

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