Rafa Benitez will be back in the St James’ Park dugout this season – but not as many Newcastle United fans had hoped.

The Spaniard has been named Everton’s new manager after weeks of speculation following Carlo Ancelotti’s move to Real Madrid.

Benitez remains a popular figure at Tyneside after returning the club to the Premier League in 2017, before leaving two years later following disagreements with owner Mike Ashley over the perceived investment in the playing team.

READ MORE: Fun admission from Benitez after Duncan Ferguson stays at Everton

Many fans were hoping to see him return to United last summer if Amanda Staveley’s proposed buyout had taken place, but after leaving Dalian Pro in China, Benitez’s return to England came with Everton instead.

This means Newcastle will face their former manager at least twice next season, here are the dates to watch.

When do Newcastle play at Everton?

We’ll have to wait a bit for the first Premier League meeting between the two sides this season, with Newcastle heading to Goodison Park between Christmas and New Years.

The away game is currently scheduled for Tuesday, December 28.

Rafa Benitez’s return to St James’ Park will follow shortly thereafter, however, with that game currently being Wednesday 9 February.

  • Everton vs Newcastle, Tuesday December 28
  • Newcastle vs Everton, Wednesday February 9

Both matches could of course change for television, and the two teams could still face each other in the Carabao Cup or the FA Cup.

Benitez’s career at Everton kicks off when they face Southampton at Goodison Park on Saturday August 14, while his former side Liverpool will cross Stanley Park on Tuesday, November 30.

He takes Everton to Anfield for the second leg on Saturday April 23.

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