It is often the relegation six-pointers that are the difference between who stays up and who takes the drop.

When it comes to Newcastle United this season, they have certainly chosen the right clubs to take points off.

In 13 games against the current top 11 in the Premier League, Rafa and his players have taken only two points from a possible 39.

In 13 games against those other clubs in the current bottom nine, NUFC have taken 23 points from a possible 39.

This is how the Premier League table looks now:

relegation six-pointers

A record of 0 wins, 2 draws, 11 defeats for Newcastle against the better clubs, whereas 6 wins, 5 draws, 2 defeats in the relegation six-pointers against the bottom nine occupants.

That is the good news, the bad news is that of the 12 matches Newcastle have remaining, only three of those are against fellow relegation strugglers in the bottom nine. Those games are Southampton, Huddersfield and West Brom – normally you would say that at least it is a positive that these are all at home but Newcastle have actually looked better a lot of the time on their travels.

Only one other club in the bottom nine has only three matches left against bottom nine opponents and that is West Ham.

In contrast, Swansea have six whilst Stoke and Huddersfield have five each.

I know people go on about playing teams at the bottom can be tough towards the end of the season but that is a bit of a cliche, they are down there for a reason!

There are some real opportunities there as well, as in March/April you have Huddersfield play Swansea, Palace, Newcastle and Brighton four games in a row, whilst in February/March you have Swansea facing Brighton, West Ham, Huddersfield and Southampton one after the other.

I don’t want to worry you too much but whilst Swansea have half of their matches against six of the other eight clubs in the bottom nine, Newcastle have to face every club in the top 11 with the exception of Man City and Burnley.

Rafa Benitez has to get his team to shake off the disappointment of recent home draws against the likes of Swansea and Brighton, by making sure they get nine points from those home games against Southampton, Huddersfield and West Brom.

That can provide a platform to then hopefully lift their form against the better teams and get a few bonus points from there as well.

Don’t want to overstate it too much but if those three home matches don’t produce at least seven points, preferably nine, Newcastle United will be on the edge.

Remaining matches between the bottom nine Premier League clubs:

West Ham:

Swansea (A), Southampton (H), Stoke (H)

Brighton:

Stoke (A), Swansea (H), Huddersfield (H), Palace (A)

Palace:

Huddersfield (A), Brighton (H), Stoke (A), West Brom (H)

Southampton:

Stoke (H), Newcastle (A), Swansea (A), West Ham (A)

Newcastle United:

Southampton (H), Huddersfield (H), West Brom (H)

Swansea:

Brighton (A), West Ham (H), Huddersfield (A), Southampton (H), West Brom (A), Stoke (H)

Stoke:

Brighton (H), Southampton (A), West Ham (A), Palace (H), Swansea (A)

Huddersfield:

West Brom (A), Swansea (H), Palace (H), Newcastle (A), Brighton (A)

West Brom:

Huddersfield (H), Swansea (H), Newcastle (A), Palace (A)

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  • Dillon Tovak

    If we could actually beat all three of hudds, soton and West Brom then we’re well on our way as just 3 points from anywhere else would take us up to 37 and most likely just scraping survival.
    But we don’t really look like being able to do that, so I fear for our chances.

    • Peaky Magpie

      Summed up perfectly.

    • mentalman

      it all depends whether rafa and the players are learning from lessons learnt in the last two games, if we try and get a 1 goal lead and sit back and defend it we’ll get very few points from now till the end of the season and we’ll need to rely on 3 other clubs having a worse run than ourselves.

      • Dillon Tovak

        We haven’t learned those lessons from months ago so I can’t see any new revelations, unfortunately.

  • Kneebotherm8

    As we get to the business end of the season then games against the bottom clubs becomes trickier as they’re fighting for their lives….there’ll be some unexpected results and hopefully we can get one or two ourselves..

  • Mark c

    Take each game as it comes the same as every other team. Hopefully we will get enough points and avoid the drop. The longer we go without a home win the harder it becomes no matter who we are playing.

  • TheFatController

    The biggest factor in our season has been the level of underperformance from players we expected more from.

    If a few more can ‘do a Diame’ and improve, added to the lift having Dubravka. Kenedy and Slimani should bring, we’d be able to pick off teams focusing on CL games, on a bad run etc.

    If they don’t raise their games, better hope Slimani and Kenedy are game changers …

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    All we can do is win the 9 points available to us and hope for the best.

  • HarryHype59

    So this season will boil down to a yet another Pardew/Carver type relegation scrap. If we are very lucky we may just survive. The “Rafalution” now looks like a busted flush.

  • Alreet

    Some of the draws have been painfull but at least its not a loss. The media got on our back for not beating swansea and burnley but then the beat pool and draw with manc respectively.

    Just gotta get our shooting boots on. Kenedy is starting to look a real livewire and if slimani can be the poacher and we leave hoss at home for a few games who knows. We might still finish in the top half. JK im aiming for 13th.

  • kingfisher

    There are enough points available for us to survive, however we are all assuming that we will continue to play as we have been, and therefore we will struggle. I think if you break our problems down, there are three main reasons why we are in trouble:

    1) Rafa has made mistakes (as all managers do),in both tactics and selection.
    2) Players have not performed to their ability.
    And finally number 3: the biggest single reason why we are where we are:
    M.A has not invested anywhere enough money into this club. FACT!!
    He promised Rafa funds when we got promoted, FACT!!
    He is not totally to blame, but as our American cousins would say: this lack of funding, 2 relegations ( and possibly 3),and the takeover debacle occurred on HIS watch, the buck stops with him and his regime, FACT !!