Pundit makes exciting Newcastle claim after big development
Newcastle United will compete for the top four again but the Champions League remains a “big question mark”.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, former Aston Villa and Tottenham defender Alan Hutton claimed the Magpies’ squad is good enough to compete on all fronts after Saturday night’s memorable 1-0 Premier League win over Arsenal.
Eddie Howe’s side is battling an injury crisis with the likes of Sven Botman and Alexander Isak sidelined, while Sandro Tonali will be unavailable for 10 months after breaching gambling rules.
However, the Magpies are still getting results including their 3-0 win against Manchester United at Old Trafford which secured their place in the League Cup quarter-finals.
Hutton believes the upcoming international break is very timely for Newcastle and if the squad can keep fit throughout the season, Champions League football could stay in Tyneside.
“Normally you say that the international break comes at a bad time because you’re on a good run of form and you don’t want to distort it,” he told Football Insider.
“This is the flip side to the coin where you have some injuries, a chance to rest and recover, give the players some downtime.
“But I think they’ll do well this season. The big question mark is how will they handle the Champions League and how far they go in the group of death.
“Competing on all fronts, have they got the squad to be able to do it? I think they do.
“I think they have some strength in depth. They can obviously add in certain areas, but if you get the boys back fit and keep them injury-free, then obviously they’ve got an opportunity.
“They’re a team that will always score goals, they’ve got creativity all along that front line. If they can continue that form, then they’ll be in with a shout of getting top four.”