Newcastle now need to break eight-year curse to win Championship
Newcastle’s 1-0 defeat on the opening day of the Championship season against Fulham hasn’t had a great bearing on their odds of promotion back to the Premier League at the conclusion of the campaign.
Rafa Benitez’s men remain the clear 15/8 favourites to top the second-tier standings and 8/13 to secure promotion by any means.
Summer signing Dwight Gayle still even heads the betting at 8/1 to be the Championship’s top scorer, despite his blank at Craven Cottage.
However, recent Championship campaigns are hardly littered with teams to have secured a top-two finish having opened the season with a defeat.
No team since West Brom in 2007/08 has lifted the title following a gameweek-one reverse, while Norwich in 2010/11 are the only others in the last eight seasons to obtain automatic promotion after suffering the same fate.
That means that only two of the past 18 sides to go up automatically have done so after losing their first Championship game, which obviously isn’t a substantial number.
Although, there are a few things that Toon supporters can take solace from in recent years to reassure them that promotion remains a real possibility.
Newcastle themselves failed to begin with a victory on the last occasion they featured in the second tier, drawing with West Brom on the opening day in 2009/10 before eventually surpassing 100 points to win the division.
In 2011/12, Reading made a dreadful start when collecting just four points across their opening six fixtures before improving to be crowned champions.
And just 12 months ago, neither Burnley nor Middlesbrough, who eventually finished first and second, won on the opening weekend.
Both began with a draw and Burnley’s start was particularly slow as they failed to take maximum points in any of their first three games.
It’s clear that more creativity and cutting edge will be necessary against Huddersfield next, but already history suggests that the title is a big ask for Newcastle.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing