Rafa's reaction to 2017/18 fixtures
Written by Dan King
Rafa Benítez believes the 2017/18 fixture list makes "exciting" reading for Newcastle United supporters.
The Magpies are back in the Premier League after winning the Sky Bet Championship last season, and kick off the new campaign against last season's top flight runners-up, Tottenham Hotspur.
United end the season at home to reigning champions Chelsea, while there are eye-catching fixtures against the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool.
Benitez told nufc.co.uk: "It's always exciting to see the new fixtures and like the fans, it's something we all look forward to.
"It's a great start at home to Tottenham and a really exciting first game at St. James' Park for our fans to enjoy.
"We will all have extra motivation for that game, but it will be a very tough start too because Spurs showed how good they are last season. Of course they were our last Premier League opponents here too, which was a memorable match for everyone, but this time around it will be completely different."
Games against Huddersfield (away), West Ham (home), Swansea (away), Stoke (home) and Brighton (away) follow and Benitez added: "After Spurs I think then we have a good run of games and I'm pleased to see it's quite a balanced list in terms of the teams we're up against.
"The fans will enjoy being at home to Manchester City on Boxing Day. It is always nice for fans to enjoy games against top teams over the Christmas period.
"We also have a great game to round off the season with Chelsea visiting us on the last day of the season.
"Aside from that, obviously I look forward to the two games with Liverpool; those days will be extra special for me, but really every game is exciting and every game has its own challenges.
"It will be nice, too, to come up against Chris Hughton and his Brighton side again this season.
"This will be Brighton’s first time in the Premier League and the way both our clubs performed in the Championship will make it a special game, I think."
You can see the full fixture list here.
Season tickets for the 2017/18 Premier League campaign go on general sale on Monday morning. Existing season ticket holders can renew here now.
"The two games with Liverpool will be extra special for me, but really every game is exciting and every game has its own challenges."