Always interesting to get an outside perspective on Newcastle United and the promotion race.

Sheffield Wednesday lost out in the play-off final last season and this time they have, like Brighton, done well not to let disappointment knock them too much and are currently in the four play-off spot.

Results have fallen away recently but they still look favourites to be in that end of season lottery once again.

The Sheffield Star is the local paper covering Wednesday and their main man is reporter Chris Holt.

He has given his predictions for how the top six will look at the end of the season (see below) and his reasons for where Newcastle United will finish up.

Brighton:

‘Narrowly squeezed out of automatic promotion last season and then falling to Wednesday in the play-offs, it would have been understandable if the Seagulls had lost flight this time around. As it turned out they’ve been excellent and easily the best team the Owls have faced this season.

Their run-in is kind, aside from a couple of potentially tricky matches against two of the bottom three. However, last year’s heartache could work in their favour.

Predicted finish: 1st.

Newcastle United:

‘Many will have expected Rafa Benitez’s side to have been a bit more comfortable in securing their promotion back to the Premier League, but they have shown themselves to be beatable a little too often.

There’s no doubting their quality but this is a unique kind of pressure and they do have a tough series of fixtures still to come.

Predicted finish: 2nd

It’s funny because a lot more people who aren’t Newcastle fans, seemed to think it would be ever so easy for Rafa’s team to get promoted.

The vast majority of NUFC supporters would definitely have settled for the current position with eight games to go and there have been two massive surprises along the way.

The home form being relatively poor, losing five at home (Chris Hughton’s team lost none in the 2009/10 season) and collecting only 35 points so far.

The even bigger surprise has been Newcastle’s tremendous away results, winning 13 and losing only three, with 43 points gathered already.

Sheffield Star/Chris Holt’s predicted end of season top six:

1st Brighton

2nd Newcastle United

3rd Huddersfield

4th Reading

5th Leeds

6th Sheffield Wednesday



  • Wor Lass

    With hindsight, the home and away form “reversal” shouldn`t be surprising. Teams come to SJP and sit deep and spoil. At the same time we are invariably set up not to lose and try to play the patient game. When Pardew did it he was slaughtered but because it`s Rafa and we`re top, after all, it`s accepted. Away from home, our containing style of play is good enough to take care of the majority of teams and, because they have to have a go, we are usually able to nick it. Some of the officiating hasn`t helped – it`s been lamentable and usually worked against us. Having said that, there have been quite a few games where, if we`d taken early chances, we would have possed the opposition. I`d like to see us set up a bit more aggressively for these two home games and put the fear of God into our rivals

    • GToon

      I don’t accept the tactics at home as you have said. In fact it’s the reason I haven’t been to a home game this year. Our home tactics are horrendous. Teams don’t come and sit deep at SJP. We do! Watch Wigan go a goal up before we even get over the half way line.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    I thought we`d win the league by 12pts

    • Jezza

      We should have won the league by 12 points but NUFC have decided to go through the whole season with one hand tied behind their backs. Going into the season with one top striker in the squad, loaning out the one other striker on our books who could have done a job, £30 million transfer profit in the summer and no signings in January.

  • Blackburn1066

    I would like to think we can take Wigan apart but our Manager likes to play as he does away from home, at home. so I see a point won at the most.
    If we get at them from the start and stick a goal or two in the onion bag then game over. NEXT

    • Jezza

      We should take Wigan apart but you just know we will start with one up front and sit back and let them take the game to us.