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Premier League fixtures announced on Thursday

Newcastle United's 2018/19 Premier League fixture list will be announced at 9am BST this Thursday.

Log on to nufc.co.uk to discover the initial dates for the Magpies' 38 league matches next season. 

The new campaign will begin on the second weekend of August, with Rafa Benítez's side looking to build on last season's top-half finish.

Last term, United faced Tottenham at home on the opening weekend and lost 2-0, while the Magpies have also played Manchester United, Manchester City (twice) and Arsenal on the first weekend of the season in recent years. 

Newcastle beat Spurs 2-1 at St. James' Park on the opening day of 2012/13, while Steve McClaren's reign began with an entertaining 2-2 draw against Southampton in August 2016.

Of the previous 114 seasons, United have played their opening game at home on 61 occasions and away from home 53 times. Of the current Premier League teams, there are four who Newcastle have never met in the opening day: AFC Bournemouth, Brighton & Hove Albion, Burnley and Crystal Palace.

United's biggest ever opening day win was a 6-0 success against Stoke in 1951/52.

But of course, the first game does not define a season - in 2016/17, the Magpies lost 1-0 at Fulham before going on to lift the Sky Bet Championship title.

And in 1926/27, United lost two of their first three matches - but ended up as league champions. 

In the Premier League era United have often endured a disappointing Boxing Day, winning just four times in 21 attempts, but have fared better on New Year's Day with six wins (including last season's win at Stoke), five draws and only two defeats.

But Newcastle tend to finish with a flourish. They've won their last game of the season four years in a row, all at St. James' Park: 2-0 against West Ham in 2014/15, 5-1 against Tottenham in 2015/16, 3-0 against Barnsley in 2016/17 and of course 3-0 against Chelsea in May.

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