The Premier League carries on without Newcastle United today.
Rafa Benitez and his players are having an enforced absence of three weeks, a two week international break plus an extra week thanks to Tottenham cancelling due to an FA Cup quarter-final today against Swansea.
There are only four Premier League matches going ahead today but they could still have a serious impact on the relegation picture.
Six of the eight clubs in action are all still involved in the relegation struggle, to greater or lesser extents.
This is the current Premier League table before Saturday’s matches:
These are the four fixtures today, all 3pm kick-offs apart from the one at Anfield which is 5.30pm:
Bournemouth v West Brom
Huddersfield v Crystal Palace
Stoke v Everton
Liverpool v Watford
In my opinion, the best case scenario is if West Brom, Huddersfield, Everton and Liverpool all win, this would leave tonight’s Premier League table looking like this:
9th Everton 40 points
10th Watford 36 points
11th Brighton 34 points
12th Huddersfield 34 points
13th Bournemouth 33 points
14th Newcastle United 32 points
15th Swansea 31 points
16th West Ham 30 points
17th Southampton 28 points
18th Crystal Palace 27 points
19th Stoke 27 points
20th West Brom 23 points
If though, Bournemouth, Palace, Stoke and Watford all won, this is what we would have:
9th Watford 39 points
10th Everton 37 points
11th Bournemouth 36 points
12th Brighton 34 points
13th Newcastle United 32 points
14th Swansea 31 points
15th Bournemouth 31 points
16th Crystal Palace 30 points
17th Stoke 30 points
18th West Ham 30 points
19th Southampton 28 points
20th West Brom 20 points
With these last set of results it would mean Newcastle dropping one place due to Huddersfield winning BUT it would mean NUFC five points above both Palace and Stoke AND with a game in hand AND with a far better goal difference AND those two teams only having seven games left to play.
However, if the results went wrong, Newcastle would find themselves still in 13th but only two points above the drop zone.
An interesting day ahead and hopefully Rafa and his players will be celebrating a major step closer to safety without even playing.
Looking at the other clubs, if Newcastle’s best case scenario happens then West Ham look the biggest losers as they drop into the relegation zone, whilst if things go wrong for NUFC, they go very wrong for Southampton who drop to second bottom.