Interesting today to see a report looking at the first 11 Premier League matches for all 20 clubs, then looking at who has the toughest and easiest upcoming schedules.

The next 11 matches for Newcastle start on Saturday at Old Trafford then conclude at Stoke City on New Year’s day.

At that point 22 of the 38 Premier League matches will have gone by with only 16 to play – and everybody will have a pretty decent idea of where they are at by then.

Before the last round of matches, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth were the bottom pair in the Premier League before the Cherries won at St James Park and lifted themselves to fourth bottom.

This interesting piece in The Independent puts down Palace and Bournemouth as having the easiest (on paper) sets of fixtures until the new year.

By contrast, they place Southampton, Newcastle, and Huddersfield, amongst the five with the toughest upcoming games, concluding that all three ‘might want to start looking over their shoulder’.

Newcastle’s next 11 games are:

Man Utd (A), Watford (H), West Brom (A), Chelsea (A), Leicester (H), Everton (H), Arsenal (A), West Ham (A), Man City (H), Brighton (H), Stoke (A).

At the moment Newcastle have 14 points from 11 matches, to be on schedule to be reaching at least 40 points by the end of the season, Newcastle need at least 10 points from these next 11 games, which would put them on 24 points with 16 games left.

The Independent’s most favourable schedule over next 11 matches:

1 Crystal Palace

2 Bournemouth

3 Man City

4 Liverpool

5 Watford

Their least favourable schedule over next 11 matches:

1 Southampton

2 Swansea

3 Newcastle United

4 West Ham

5 Huddersfield

The Independent view on Newcastle United:

“All three of the promoted sides have, to a degree, benefitted from the fixture computer’s kindness at the start of the campaign. Now it’s payback time.

“It seems Newcastle United are in for the bumpiest landing, starting with a date at Old Trafford this weekend. Two further trips to Chelsea and Arsenal come a little bit later down the line, as does a visit to St James Park from Manchester City.”

The Independent conclusions:

“The main conclusions to draw, however, are: a) there is no reason why Manchester City should not keep on collecting points and build up an even greater lead at the top of the table, and b) the battle to avoid relegation should tighten up considerably.

“While Bournemouth and Crystal Palace could gain ground, the likes of Southampton, Newcastle and Huddersfield might want to start looking over their shoulder.”

  • Leazes62

    We’ve been favourites for relegation since May.. if we were sitting top of the table theyd still be saying it

  • Paul Patterson

    We should have attacked the fixtures against Bournemouth, Burnley, Brighton and Huddersfield, instead of the softly softly tentative approach . .

  • lukegte

    If only we had someone who could have finished all those chances Joselu has missed

    • Natturner26

      We do have two strikers that are better than Joselu.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Newcastle have hit the Wall & 1 win in 6 proves that, i`m not surprised in the least with the squad we have it was always going to be a fight & those who think we`ll finish in the top 10 are not full shillings.
    to date, 50% of our back 4 are injured, maybe we can cope with that but in attack we are in dire straights Hoss & Perez are totally useless & don`t even go there with SloMo.
    i`ll be happy with 4th bottom in May

    • lukegte

      17th would do me nicely. Frustratingly Merino and Mitro are our best options up top, ahead of Perez and Joselu. Had they been playing there I think we’d be a few points better off by now. Saying that, if Rafa had been given another 15m on top of what he spent on Joselu… who knows. I think that gives a good account of how well the rest of the team have adapted to the Premier League

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Ashley Out & take his Minions with him

    • Wor Lass

      Ashley oot! bring back Willo!!

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        And a few more

  • hetonmag

    Nobody can predict how matches is going to end up, years ago I did a bit of work for a bookie and he said to me I wished I just took football coupons and it’s no different now. Keep the faith.

  • Kneebotherm8

    We’ve been looking over our shoulders since day one and will continue to do that till 40 points are reached.
    Its the same for us and the majority of the teams in this division.

  • Steve Pearce

    Can I ask you a question Porter – why are you staff writer for the Mag when you are obviously a Scumderland supporter?

  • S.G.M.

    The pap from Porter just keeps coming.

  • Toon

    Sorry, I only care what Paul Merson thinks, if he hasn’t said it who really cares?

  • anyobrien

    Football is not played on paper.

  • Down Under Mag

    To be honest, with the way Rafa has set the team up he had these sort of games in mind not the promoted sides. I think we are keeping things tight at the back and could capitalise on some counter attack…BUT we need a bit of luck. We are starting to pick up injuries to key players and that is my biggest concern. Let’s hope we can ride out the storm at the weekend.

  • HarryHype59

    The lack of quality in the final third means a relegation battle is a certainty! Fatman’s avarice is the main reason! However, Rafa’s failure to prioritize signing a decent striker and dropping £12m on Murphy hasn’t helped!

  • JoeKinghere

    tbh any of the bottom 12 clubs could be dragged into a relegation scrap if they drop a couple of games. Think we’ll survive, but not by a big margin.