A man who knows more than most about tomorrow’s opponents is City’s Thomas Cook Player of the Month, Dietmar Hamann.
The former German international spent a season up on Tyneside in 1998, making 31 appearances and scooping the Player of the Season award before making an £8m move to Liverpool.
Reflecting on his time there, ‘the Kaiser’ told us: “When I was there it was a transition period. There was a lot of inconsistency really, we struggled, but still made the FA Cup Final although during the season it was pretty poor.
“They sacked Kenny Dalglish when I was there. Guillit came in and he got the sack 12 months later. I think Bobby Robson turned it around there, they had a good spell under him.”
Like City with a new manager in place as well as new owners, Hamann observed: “They’ve definitely got the funds and the potential to break in to maybe the top five or six. The top four is maybe too far away for any other club at the moment.
“If you’ve been up there you know what it’s like. The people support Newcastle United there’s nothing else but football there, that’s all they look forward to all week.
“I think there’s a lot of potential with Allardyce and the squad they’ve got now. They need to kick on now and look at a top five, six or seven finish this year and obviously you need to improve year on year to challenge the top four. At the moment they are quite some way ahead.
“You’ve got five or six clubs challenging for that fifth or sixth spot and it’s not like Newcastle are the favourites, there’s many equal to Newcastle after investing this summer.”