The big Newcastle United unknown now we know the fixture list

We know where and when – but not, as yet, who.

Thursday, 16th June 2022, 12:30 pm

The Premier League have published its fixtures for the 2022/23 season, which will be cut in half by the World Cup in Qatar.

Newcastle United have been handed a home opener against newly-promoted Nottingham Forest.

Eddie Howe – who guided the club to a remarkable 11th-placed finish last season following a winless start to the campaign under Steve Bruce – will be happy with a home fixture on the opening weekend of a campaign which promises much for a fanbase which became used to relegation battles.

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Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe is planning for the new season.

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Newcastle United's 2022/23 Premier League fixtures revealed

The Forest game is followed by a visit to Brighton and Hove Albion.

So much has changed since the club’s last visit to the Amex Stadium on November 6. Back then, the club was winless and 19th in the Premier League with just five points.

Eddie Howe was sat next to co-owner Amanda Staveley in the directors’ box ahead of his appointment as head coach.

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe with assistant Jason Tindall, left, and co-owner Amanda Staveley at the Amex Stadium last season.

United, backed by 3,100 noisy fans, weren’t at their best, but they were resilient enough to stay in the game after going behind to a first-half penalty – and they claimed a point through a second-half Isaac Hayden equaliser.

“The big encouragement I took, first and foremost, was the supporters,” said Howe. “I think they inspired the players, they helped the players, and that’s going to be absolutely crucial.

"We’re in a relegation battle, and to ease the pressure on the players, if supporters can make as much noise as they can here and away, I think that will go a long way for us in achieving our aims."

Those fans stayed behind the team at the Amex Stadium – and they would get behind Howe.

The club had a tough run of December games following Howe’s appointment, and but the coming season will have a very different look because of the World Cup, which kicks off on November 21 and concludes a week before Christmas.

We just don’t know how this will affect teams, and we won’t know for some time just how many players the club will have in Qatar.

Howe and his staff are already planning for the mid-season break, which comes after a November 12 home game against Chelsea.

United will resume their campaign with a Boxing Day game away to Leicester City. There isn’t a game between the traditional December 26 and New Year fixtures due to concerns of player burnout following the World Cup.

The flip side to the break is six-games in October and April. The season also runs until the end of May.

Staveley and the club’s hierarchy are working to ensure that Howe has a strong enough squad to cope with the rigours of demanding campaign.

The club only signed one player – former loanee Joe Willock – last summer.

Newcastle have already signed defender Matt Targett, and the club is pursuing a number of other targets, among them Sven Botman and Hugo Ekitike, in the early part of the window.

In contrast to last summer, there’s a huge amount of optimism on Tyneside ahead of the new campaign. Now we know the fixtures, the big question is exactly who will line up against Forest.