Deadline for Newcastle United to reach 18 points
No two seasons are the same but a clear path has opened up to Christmas.
Last season, Newcastle United opened up with four wins and two draws in the opening nine Premier League games.
However, that 14 points total only increased by one in the next nine games, leaving them in the relegation zone on 23 December.
A dramatic 3-2 away win at West Ham followed, which lifted Newcastle out of the relegation zone for Christmas, 15th in the table with 18 points from 19 games.
This season, Newcastle have decided to do it a little differently…
Only two points from the opening nine matches, then an uplift with seven points from the last three games. A total of nine points from the first 12 games.
Newcastle don’t reach the halfway point until Boxing Day this season, but with that 19th game being at Anfield, fairly safe to think that the next six games will decide Newcastle’s fate at halfway.
Starting with that Liverpool away game on Boxing Day, Newcastle have a sequence of seven games where six of them are against clubs currently in the top eight.
That surely puts even more emphasis, some would say pressure, on these pre-Christmas matches.
To reach last season’s half way total, Rafa’s players need at least nine points from home games against West Ham, Wolves and Fulham, plus aways at Huddersfield, Burnley and Everton.
With at least three, maybe more, of these six games being against relegation rivals, it turns the heat up even more.
Nobody ever can second guess how many points are needed to reach safety but reaching at least 18 points by Christmas has to be the minimum target.
A Monday night in Burnley sounds like the kind of moment that could decide Newcastle’s season, a messy 1-0 went in the home side’s favour 13 months ago, these are the kind of slim margins that now need to continue for NUFC if we are to enjoy Christmas.
Before we then find out the New Year treats Mike Ashley will send our way in the January transfer window…
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