This looks like a pivotal weekend for Newcastle United in their relegation fight.
Sadly, with an away game to Chelsea it looks as though any potential positivity will only come in other matches.
Since 1986, Newcastle have only the one win in the league at Stamford Bridge and I don’t quite see anybody in this current squad capable of reproducing those brilliant, one of them outrageous, Papiss Cisse strikes, nor the stellar form he enjoyed in those first few months on Tyneside.
There are key matches happening elsewhere this weekend and it could be touch and go as to whether Newcastle United end this round of fixtures in the bottom three.
This is how the Premier League currently stands:
Recent form/results have seen Crystal Palace pretty much pull out of trouble I feel and turn it from a two from six to a two from five, to go down with Huddersfield.
The numbers of clubs down at the bottom and relatively lower points, has given some people I think, a bit of a false sense of security.
Last season, after everybody had played 21 games, you had West Brom on 15 points, Swansea 16, Crystal Palace 19 and Newcastle United only above Palace on goal difference with 19 points as well. A year ago, Rafa’s team would have already been bottom three if they had only had 18 points.
Game 22 last season saw Newcastle travel to Stoke and win an absolutely massive relegation clash 1-0, game 22 this time is the trip to Chelsea.
This Saturday afternoon at 3pm, you have Burnley v Fulham, Cardiff v Huddersfield and Leicester v Southampton.
Burnley and Cardiff will be favourites to win their games and only need a point each anyway to go above Newcastle United.
As for Southampton, life under their new manager has definitely seen the bounce effect, their last five PL games seeing them score three against both Arsenal and Huddersfield as they picked up six points, whilst they added another point with an excellent goalless draw at Chelsea, ironically.
They play a very unpredictable Leicester side who have managed to lose at Newport and at home to Cardiff in their last three matches. If Southampton win at Leicester I feel that would be an absolutely savage blow for Newcastle and quite probably see us in the bottom three by the time our 5.30pm kick-off comes around.
Once you drop into that relegation zone then it can become very difficult to climb back out.
A defeat for Southampton could be huge and whatever happens at Stamford Bridge, Newcastle could go into next weekend’s key clash with Cardiff, knowing they could open up some daylight before then Man City at home and Spurs away.
Going into the Chelsea game in the bottom three and then getting a bit of a pasting doesn’t bear thinking about, ahead of Cardiff at home.
How we could do with some help in the transfer market…
Premier League fixtures this weekend:
West Ham v Arsenal (12.30pm)
Brighton v Liverpool (3pm)
Burnley v Fulham (3pm)
Cardiff v Huddersfield (3pm)
Crystal Palace v Watford (3pm)
Leicester v Southampton (3pm)
Chelsea v Newcastle United (5.30pm)
Everton v Bournemouth (2.15pm)
Tottenham v Man Utd (4.30pm)
Man City v Wolves (8pm)