Rafa Benitez reveals his magic number at Newcastle

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez still believes 40 will be the magic number in the Premier League this season.

Newcastle United are seemingly set for another survival battle in their first season back in the division.

Benitez’s side are 14th in the table and one point above the drop zone.

Forty points has always been seen as the benchmark for Premier League safety.

Newcastle finished 18th – and were relegated – with 37 points in the 2015-16 season.

Asked how many points would be needed to stay up this season, United manager Benitez said: “I think it will be 40. Why? Because you can see teams winning, losing or drawing.

“But someone, any time, will have problems. I cannot see everybody over 40. Someone will have problems.

“I think three or four teams will be below 40, so 40, for me, is a guarantee.”

Just eight points separate 10th-placed Bournemouth and Alan Pardew’s West Bromwich Albion, who are propping up the division.

Benitez said: “If you have just one team, then you have to fight against just one. But we can fight against a lot of them.

“If you stay calm, and do things properly, you will maybe have more chances.

“When we came here, we had Norwich, Sunderland and us. One of the three will go down. In this case, you have six or seven teams.

“We were only in the relegation zone a couple of times. It’s not that you’re struggling. It’s because that’s the level and the others are here. That’s the level.”