Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola doesn’t think Newcastle will be relegated from the Premier League this season.
Pep returns to the scene of a crushing defeat last season, as his side incredibly lost 2-1 to Rafa Benitez’s Magpies. And that’s despite going a goal ahead in the first minute.
However, the defeat actually catapulted Manchester City towards the title, winning every game after that fateful night at St James’ Park.
And as he prepares to return to the North East, Guardiola has made a prediction about Newcastle’s future in the top flight.
“It’s tough with a new manager but they have good results. I think they will stay in the Premier League,” he told his pre-match press conference.
“They are physically strong, fast upfront. Their structure is quite similar to under Rafa Benitez.”
At least Guardiola is confident we’ll stay up…
To be fair to Steve Bruce’s side, it looks like there are a few teams in the division that are worse than the Magpies. We will most likely be in and around the relegation battle as always, but we should have enough to keep our heads above water.
The big issue is goals. We’ve retained some of the solidity we had under Benitez, like Guardiola said, but are yet to really move our game forwards and get the best out of the front three.
The win last season against Manchester City was incredible, with a disciplined performance that was full of fight and belief against one of the best teams in the world. We’ll need a similar, if not even better, performance if we’re going to get anything against the champions this time.