Serge Pizzorno thinks this could be Newcastle United’s season.
With the World Cup splitting the season in two, he thinks some of the usual suspects could find things far more difficult to manage, with Newcastle potentially the club who could break into the top four if everything goes right.
As a second step towards that massive target, Serge Pizzorno thinks Newcastle will follow up the victory over Forest with a win away at Brighton on Saturday.
As Newcastle fans, interesting to get outside views and a glimpse of what fans of other clubs are now saying about NUFC. No longer simply a joke club that simply existed for almost a decade and a half under Mike Ashley.
Serge Pizzorno supports Leicester and he is also frontman of Kasabian.
This week he has predicted all the Premier League results alongside Chris Sutton, who has now taken over from Mark Lawrenson in the predictions game.
Chris Sutton has gone for the cowardly option of two teams starting the season well and too difficult to predict, so going for the ‘safe’ option of a 1-1 draw.
Serge Pizzorno goes for a 2-1 away win and points to the ‘amazing run in the second half of last season’ when Eddie Howe and his players picked up 38 points in the final 19 games, compared to 24 points for Newcastle.
If Newcastle United are to have any chance of getting close to that top four, for starters they have to pick up results week in week out against the ones who aren’t ‘big six’ clubs.
Last season, Newcastle picked up a win at home against Brighton and an away draw at the Amex. If getting into the habit of regularly beating ‘other 14’ clubs away, as well as maintaining home form, then you start to look up at what could be possible.
Last season, Spurs ended up fourth with 71 points and you can’t help but wonder if it could be possible for Eddie Howe and his players to maintain their second half of the season form last time, over a full campaign this time. Having averaged exactly two points per game over the final 19 matches last season, that would equal 76 points over a full one. Last season, 76 points would have got you third place in the Premier League and in 2020/21 it would have meant a second place finish.
An unrealistic daydream? Possibly / probably / almost certainly.
However, if you are not allowed to daydream a week into the season with a dominant win behind you, when can you?
Chris Sutton and Serge Pizzorno talking to BBC Sport:
“This is another game where I am thinking ‘how can you predict this?’.
“Some Brighton fans were complaining they did not get a mention in the discussion about what happened to Manchester United on Sunday, but they did.
“The Seagulls are a really good team under Graham Potter, and a really good watch too.
“The same goes for Newcastle, though. I liked the way they started the season against Nottingham Forest.
“Forest were not great but Newcastle showed plenty of intent going forward.
“I like watching Eddie Howe’s teams and I am expecting this to be quite an expansive game. I don’t want to predict another draw, but I think it will end with the points being shared.
“Prediction is Brighton 1 Newcastle 1”
“I have a feeling Newcastle are going to have a big season.
“With the World Cup happening in the middle of it, it might just disrupt things for the usual contenders and open it up for someone to break into the top four.
“They might be the team to do it.
“They went on an amazing run in the second half of last season, and if they can get the same momentum at the start of this one, they might get close.
“Apologies if I have just given them the kiss of death, though!
“Prediction is Brighton 1 Newcastle 2”