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Club News


17 June 2015

In-focus: our top flight rivals in 2015-16

WITH the 2015-16 Barclays Premier League fixtures released this week, we profile the teams Norwich City will face over the course of the season. After Parts One & Two, here's Part Three.


Manager: Steve McClaren
Home: St James' Park
2014-15: 15th
Twitter: @NUFC

: Former City loanee Jonas Gutierrez was Newcastle's hero on the last day of the season, scoring one and making another in the 2-0 victory over West Ham United that secured their top flight status.

The appointment of Steve McClaren as Newcastle manager means a new era has started at St James' Park.

Announced as John Carver's replacement in June, McClaren returns to the Premier League after a nine-year absence where he managed in the Netherlands and Germany after his short stint as England boss.

The Magpies' dramatic slide down the table after Alan Pardew's departure in January almost resulted in relegation against the backdrop of fans' disgruntlement with the ownership of Mike Ashley.

Ashley continues to lead the club despite relinquishing his position on the board; supporters will hope a summer of investment can lead to a quieter campaign on and off the pitch in 2015-16.

Manager: Ronald Koeman
Home: St Mary's Stadium
2014-15: 7th
Twitter: @SouthamptonFC

: Craig Fleming, City Hall of Famer, joined Southampton's Academy in March as an Under-18s coach.

Ronald Koeman's Southampton flew in the face of pre-season doubters to book a place in the Europa League with a seventh-placed finish last term.

When Mauricio Pochettino joined Tottenham and a host of star players chose pastures new last summer, pundits were lining up to dismiss the south coast's club's chances of success.

After a fruitful recruitment drive, though, a new-look Southampton prospered on the pitch with a set of eye-catching results, most notably October's 8-0 demolition of Sunderland at St Mary's.

Koeman will continue with former Norwich City goalkeeping coach Dave Watson on his staff as Saints target further progression.

Manager: Mark Hughes
Home: Britannia Stadium
2014-15: 9th
Twitter: @stokecity

: Last season's Canaries top scorer Cameron Jerome moved to Norwich from Stoke last August.

Mark Hughes continues to quietly go about the business of establishing Stoke City as a top-ten Premier League outfit.

Their memorable 6-1 victory over Liverpool on the final day of last season wrapped up ninth spot in the Potters' seventh consecutive year of top flight football.

Three signings have already made their way through the doors at Clayton Wood, with the recent capture of Spanish striker Joselu following deals for Philipp Wollscheid and Jakob Haugaard.

Stoke will face Liverpool at the Britannia Stadium once again on the opening day of the new season, the first time two sides have met at the same venue in consecutive Premier League fixtures.

Manager: Dick Advocaat
Home: Stadium of Light
2014-15: 16th
Twitter: @SunderlandAFC

: City and Sunderland compete for the 'Friendship Trophy' whenever they come up against eachother, in recognition of the camaraderie between the two sets of supporters during the 1985 League Cup Final.

Sunderland looked to have missed out on keeping Dick Advocaat as manager at the end of 2014-15 - until the experienced Dutchman performed a U-turn and agreed a one-year deal.

Advocaat inspired the Black Cats to survival after stepping in for the sacked Gus Poyet but took some persuading to lead them into the new campaign before eventually signing on the dotted line.

They have continually battled against relegation in recent years but boast a fine modern record over fierce rivals Newcastle United having triumphed in their last five meetings.

The Stadium of Light will be the venue for the Canaries' first away match back in the Premier League on August 15.

Manager: Garry Monk
Home: Liberty Stadium
2014-15: 8th
Twitter: @SwansOfficial

: Swansea were promoted alongside the Canaries from the Sky Bet Championship in 2011.

Swansea recorded their highest-ever Premier League finish by ending up a respectable eighth in the final standings in May.

Unaffected by the sale of star frontman Wilfried Bony to Manchester City in January, Garry Monk's side earned plaudits for their style and substance in a hugely positive season.

The challenge now will be continuing the upward trajectory, but four years in the top tier has laid solid foundations at the Liberty Stadium.

Monk has added former Southampton and Everton striker James Beattie to his coaching staff for the 2014-15 campaign.

Look out for Part Four soon, featuring Tottenham Hotspur, Watford, West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United.

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