Rafa Benitez picks out the 'special' Newcastle fixtures that have caught his imagination

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez has reacted to Newcastle United's fixture list.

The Premier League today published fixtures for the coming 2017-18 campaign.

And United manager Benitez told the club's official website: "It's always exciting to see the new fixtures, and, like the fans, it's something we all look forward to.

"It's a great start at home to Tottenham, and a really exciting first game at St. James's Park for our fans to enjoy.

"We will all have extra motivation for that game, but it will be a very tough start too because Spurs showed how good they are last season.

"Of course, they were our last Premier League opponents here too, which was a memorable match for everyone, but this time around it will be completely different.

"After Spurs I think then we have a good run of games, and I'm pleased to see it's quite a balanced list in terms of the teams we're up against.

"The fans will enjoy being at home to Manchester City on Boxing Day. It is always nice for fans to enjoy games against top teams over the Christmas period.

"We also have a great game to round off the season with Chelsea visiting us on the last day of the season.

"Aside from that, obviously I look forward to the two games with Liverpool. Those days will be extra special for me, but really every game is exciting and every game has its own challenges.

"It will be nice, too, to come up against Chris Hughton and his Brighton side again this season.

"This will be Brighton’s first time in the Premier League, and the way both our clubs performed in the Championship will make it a special game, I think."