How the projected Premier League table bottom half will look by Saturday 1 February
The Premier League table is now looking to shape up.
There are now 21 games gone and only 17 remaining, apart from West Ham v Liverpool still to be played – due to the scousers playing in the world club competition in December.
January always looked a difficult month for Newcastle United and the 3-0 home hammering by Leicester got it off to the worst possible start.
Matters then not helped by that desperate second-half at Rochdale on Saturday, meaning the Magpies now have a third round FA Cup replay to play in between the next two Premier League matches (Wolves A and Chelsea H).
This is how the Premier League looks on Monday 6 January:
I have had a look at the remaining January Premier League fixtures for the current bottom ten clubs, then estimated how many points each will add in their games this month…
Everton (6 points) Brighton H, West Ham A, Newcastle United H
Southampton (3 points) Leicester A, Wolves H , Palace A
Newcastle United (0 points) Wolves A, Chelsea H, Everton A
Brighton (4 points) Everton A, Villa H, Bournemouth A
Burnley (1 point) Chelsea A, Leicester H, Man Utd A
West Ham (4 points) Sheff Utd A, Everton H, Leicester A, Liverpool H
Villa (3 points) Man City H, Brighton A, Watford H
Bournemouth (5 points) Watford H, Norwich A, Brighton H
Watford (0 points) Bournemouth A, Spurs H, Villa A
Norwich (1 point) Man Utd A, Bournemouth H, Spurs A
That set of results and points returns would leave the current bottom 10 clubs with these amounts of points and Premier League table rankings at end of January:
26 West Ham
25 Newcastle United
24 Aston Villa
No guarantee of the results falling that way of course but I went for the most obvious results, in my opinion.
I find it very difficult to see Newcastle United picking up any points from Wolves away, Chelsea home and Everton away.
As for games for other teams at the bottom in January, you have a lot of games where they play each other: including Norwich v Bournemouth, Villa v Watford, Bournemouth v Watford.
It is interesting that whilst goal difference was a big talking point for much of last season as Newcastle’s always looked very decent compared to whatever their league position was, the NUFC goal difference has hardly rated a mention this time. At the moment only the bottom two (Watford and Norwich) have a worse one than the -13 Newcastle have got, the same as Southampton despite the Saints losing 9-0 to Leicester.
Of course, if Newcastle did indeed lose these three upcoming January games, that -13 GD would look a good deal worse by the end of the month. Potentially a major factor if the Premier League table tightens up at the bottom as I am predicting.
My forecast sees Newcastle getting to 14 games remaining, with only one point between them and third bottom.
If things go along these predicted lines, then Newcastle’s home game against Norwich could be huge on Saturday 1 February, particularly with Bournemouth v Villa on the same day, as well as a number of other fixtures where you might fancy other lower clubs to pick up points.
A lot of talk about Newcastle making signings to help the situation but I feel it very difficult to imagine we will see anything better than one or two very late loan deals allowed by Mike Ashley and only if even he sees serious chances of going down by the end of January.
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