Alan Shearer has been looking at the ‘race’ to avoid relegation.
Going into the international break with 12 matches played, things are incredibly tight.
Newcastle are 14th with nine points but only one point separates them and the four clubs directly below, with then Huddersfield on seven points and Fulham right at the bottom with five.
Alan Shearer thinks that the three clubs just above Newcastle – West Ham, Brighton and Wolves – ‘have got enough about them to stay out of trouble’ this season.
The NUFC legend believes that the final relegation spots will be ‘any three from the bottom seven’ at the moment.
The fact that despite winning their last two matches, Newcastle are still only one point above the bottom three, shows you just what a necessity it was to pick up these points, rather than it having created any kind of comfort zone between the Magpies and trouble.
Current Premier League table:
Once again with Rafa Benitez keeping Newcastle competitive in pretty much every game so far, it means that NUFC have the best/least worst goal difference of these bottom seven.
Despite winning only two of the 12 games, Newcastle’s goal difference is only minus six, compared to the very worst, Fulham on minus 20.
The defence can take most of the credit, conceding only 15 in the 12 matches, less than any of the six clubs below, with Fulham leaking a massive 31 goals.
In fact, only six teams in the entire Premier League have conceded less than Newcastle United.
Alan Shearer speaking to BBC Sport:
“Newcastle have had two great wins to climb the table but before then, they were struggling for goals, just like Crystal Palace and Saints.
“Looking at the table and what we have seen already this season, it is any three from the bottom seven who will be going down.
“Just above them, I think Wolves, Brighton and West Ham have got enough about them to stay out of trouble, but it is going to be a real scrap for survival for the rest.
“Things like confidence and momentum will play a big part, as we have seen in the past couple of weeks.
“Newcastle have gone from 20th to 16th after taking seven points from their past three games – but even one win is huge when you are desperate for points.
“It is the same with Cardiff’s win over Brighton this weekend, and the belief that they and the Magpies have got right now is the biggest difference between them and Fulham going into this international break.
“Things are even tighter at the bottom of the table than they are at the top, and this is a battle where nobody is going to be sure of safety until the very end of the season.”