Date: 12th December 2018 at 2:56pm
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Stunned by a late winner from Wolves’ Matt Doherty, Newcastle United fell to a 2-1 defeat, leaving the Magpies three points above the relegation zone. But with Rafa Benitez in charge, what are the chances of Newcastle returning to the Championship?

November was a successful month for Newcastle United, as the club won all three of their games. Their three wins has resulted in Benitez being nominated for the Manager of the Month award, an award he has won six time previously.

With a top quality manager in charge, Newcastle have the potential to avoid the drop and to progress up the table. They are currently priced at 7/2 in the English Premier League relegation odds and a good January transfer window could see these odds lengthen significantly if they are backed by current owner Mike Ashley.

Takeover Troubles?

Mike Ashley put the club up for sale in 2017 and British businesswoman Amanda Stavely reportedly had three bids for the club rejected. The highest of those offers was £300 million, although Mike Ashley rejected it, much to the disgust of the Newcastle faithful, who have long resented their owner.

There is fresh hope that a new owner will be found, as former Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon is heading a consortium that is interested in taking the club off the hands of Ashley.

The potential of the club is huge, as they have demonstrated in the past, with the club finishing inside the Premier League’s top five for three consecutive seasons in the early 2000s. With a loyal fanbase and a stadium that holds over 50,000 people, it is no wonder that there are interested buyers in the club.

Upcoming Fixtures

December could prove to be a pivotal month for the Magpies as they look to avoid the drop once again. The busy Christmas period sees them take on Huddersfield, Fulham, Liverpool and Watford, with the club expected to get points from at least three of those games. Their matches against Huddersfield and Fulham in particular provide the perfect opportunity to secure all three points.
If they are to continue moving up the table, they will be looking at the likes of Ayoze Perez, Yoshinori Muto and Salomon Rondon to find the back of the net on a consistent basis. Muto arrived from German club Mainz 05 with a rather indifferent scoring record, while Rondon arrived on loan from fellow English club West Bromwich Albion in the hope that he could finally find his best form, similarly to that of former Newcastle United striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, who struggled up north, but who eventually found his form in west London at Fulham.

With a potential takeover on the cards, Mike Ashley might not provide Benitez with the transfer funds to improve the squad, which will leave the club in a perilous place assuming their rivals all strengthen in the window.

Keeping Benitez might be the key to survival, but a lack of funds may allow a rival club to come in and poach him from the Magpies.