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Sheffield verdict on promotion race and Newcastle United

5 years ago
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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

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