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Ian Wright asked if Newcastle United are Premier League title contenders
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Ian Wright asked if Newcastle United are Premier League title contenders

Ian Wright has told The Kelly and Wrighty Show that Newcastle United have to be considered Premier League title contenders with the Magpies third in the table going into the World Cup break.

Newcastle and Arsenal are vying for the surprise packages of the season so far. Of course, Mikel Arteta’s men top the table, and are five points clear of Manchester City.

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But Eddie Howe’s side are absolutely flying right now. Newcastle are only two points adrift of the Cityzens. And they are playing some of the best football in the division.

Ian Wright suggests Newcastle are title contenders

They have only lost one league game this season – away at Liverpool. And they have won their last five fixtures in the Premier League.

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Only the three other sides in the top-four have found the back of the net more often. And no team in the Premier League has conceded fewer goals than Newcastle.

It has been remarkable how quickly Howe has transformed Newcastle. They have spent money – and decent amounts of it. But they have not overhauled their squad. They have made clever additions.

And it does appear that there is so much more to come.

Certainly, Wright believes that you cannot rule Newcastle out of the title race at this stage.

“Yes, I would have to say yes,” he told The Kelly and Wrighty Show, when asked if they have to be considered contenders for the title.

“It’s got that same vibe of Leicester at a certain stage. You speak about it because you can’t see Newcastle being in a title race because we look at Man City and Liverpool and Chelsea and Man United. So when you see a Newcastle or a Leicester in and around it, you say: ‘well, yeah that’s going to fall off at some stage’.

“Eddie Howe will not be thinking anything to do with the title because they’re just happy to get themselves in a position where they’re in and around it. But don’t think for one instant that if they’re in and around it and City drop points and that, they’re going to say: ‘we’re not going to go for it’.”

Newcastle face Leicester and Leeds in the Premier League before the January transfer window opens. So it will be very interesting to see how those results impact their plans in the winter.

Should they win those games, they could potentially be one point off the summit. And their first game of 2023 sees them take on Arsenal.

The smart money would suggest that this year will come too soon for Newcastle. But if they get a sniff of being in the mix in January, then they do have the means to make some big moves in the market.

And from there, all bets could be off.

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