Premier League: Newcastle United return; newcomers Brighton, Huddersfield Town battle relegation

London: Brighton and Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town are the fresh-faced newcomers in the Premier League this season, while Rafael Benitez's Newcastle United return after a term in the Championship.

Let's take a look at how the Premier League's new boys will fare in the new season.

Soccer Football - Southend United vs Brighton & Hove Albion - Pre Season Friendly - Southend, Britain - July 25, 2017 Brighton's Solly March celebrates scoring their second goal Action Images via Reuters/Adam Holt - RTX3CVQK

Brighton & Hove Albion will be the third club to be managed in the Premier League by Chris Hughton after his stints with Newcastle United and Norwich City. Reuters

Brighton face reality check

Back among the elite for the first time in 34 years after finishing second in the Championship, Brighton will not have to wait long for an indication of just how tough it will be to retain that long-prized status.

When manager Chris Hughton surveys the team-sheet for his side's opener against Manchester City, he will see an opposing lineup bolstered by over £200 million of new signings.

Hughton broke Brighton's transfer record to sign PSV Eindhoven midfielder Davy Propper on Monday and have shattered that mark with a £13.5 million swoop for Club Brugge winger Jose Izquierdo before the season starts.

But those deals pale in comparison to City's spending and Hughton said: "Whatever City's starting team is against our starting team, there's no doubt there is going to be an incredibly massive difference.

"They are expected to win league titles, Champions Leagues. Our aim is to make sure we are in the Premier League come the following season."


Against that backdrop, it would be a managerial masterstroke if Hughton can emulate Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe by keeping another modest club from England's sleepy south coast in the top flight.

Soccer Football - Huddersfield Town vs Udinese - Pre Season Friendly - Huddersfield, Britain - July 26, 2017 Huddersfield's Tom ince celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff - RTX3D0VT

Can David Wagner manage to keep Huddersfield Town in the Premier League? Reuters

Wagner has Huddersfield dreaming big

As David Wagner and his players danced joyously in front of 35,000 ecstatic Huddersfield fans at Wembley last season, the Terriers manager was already starting to dream of scaling even greater heights.

Huddersfield's dramatic penalty shootout victory over Reading in the Championship play-off final was the culmination of the unglamourous Yorkshire club's remarkable rise under Wagner's astute leadership.

Plucked from Borussia Dortmund's reserve team two years ago by Huddersfield owner Dean Hoyle, the German coach has lived up to his billing as the protege of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

Having silenced the critics who wrote off him and his team 12 months ago, Wagner will again start this season with few giving Huddersfield a chance on their first appearance in the top flight since 1972.


He will not be intimidated by the Premier League big guns and has already broken the club's transfer record three times in the close-season in a £35 million spree on Laurent Depoitre, Aaron Mooy and Steve Mounie.

Taking inspiration from his former club Mainz's survival in Germany, Wagner said: "Mainz were promoted and got established in the Bundesliga. There are several examples comparable with a club like ours."

Soccer Football - FSV Mainz 05 v Newcastle United - Pre Season Friendly - Mainz, Germany - July 29, 2017 Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez talks to their players REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski - RTS19O3N

Newcastle will be relying on the experience of manager Rafael Benitez to stay in the English top flight. Reuters

Transfer woes worry Benitez

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez cemented his place in the hearts of Magpies fans by staying loyal following their Premier League relegation and then leading the club to promotion as Championship winners.

But winning the financial backing of Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has proved much tougher and Newcastle's travails in the transfer market over the last two months threaten to lead to a messy divorce.

Frustrated by Newcastle's failure to sign Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham and Manchester City goalkeeper Willy Caballero, who instead joined Chelsea, Benitez tried to shame Ashley into action.

"Hopefully Mike can keep his word and we can do what we want to do," he said.

"He said he would give us 'every last penny'. I'm confident he will."

Benitez knows Ashley has a form for letting managers take the flak when results turn sour and the former Liverpool manager's relationship with the sportswear tycoon will be a fascinating sub-plot on Tyneside.

Since his public complaints, Benitez has taken his spending to £30 million, but that will not be enough to satisfy the demanding Spaniard as he bids to re-establish Newcastle as a top-flight force.


Published Date: Aug 10, 2017 08:29 pm | Updated Date: Aug 10, 2017 09:06 pm



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