This 17 day period could be key to West Brom v Newcastle United FA Cup outcome
On Tuesday 3 March 2020 at 8pm, it is kick-off for West Brom v Newcastle.
A decider to see who reaches the last eight of the FA Cup and then be only one step from Wembley.
The tie to be sorted on the night, no replays and instead extra-time and penalties if necessary.
From our recent experiences under Mike Ashley, Newcastle fans know that the Championship is a marathon, not a sprint.
Even though eventually going up as champions both times, the 46 game Championship campaigns were still intense and the sheer number of games can see some poor runs of form that barely touch your high up league position.
West Brom have experienced this recently.
Flying high they suddenly went from the 14 December 2019 to February, without winning a single league match.
Yet today they find themselves four points clear at the top of the Championship, as in February a home win over Luton at home and then victory at Millwall on Sunday (yesterday) has put them in a strong position at the top.
In that period between mid-December and end of January, there were only two wins, both away, at Charlton and West Ham in the FA Cup.
For the Baggies the games continue to come thick and fast and starting with Reading away on Wednesday, West Brom have five league matches over a 17 day stretch, before a few days without games ahead of facing Newcastle.
Back on form now, West Brom could easily now go on an extensive winning run and put daylight between themselves and the rest, by the time it comes to West Brom v Newcastle, the Baggies will have played 36 of their 46 Championship matches.
In contrast, Newcastle have only Arsenal and Palace away, before Burnley at home, before the FA Cup fifth round game.
West Brom have so far played weakened FA Cup elevens but with great success.
However, if they are a decent number of points (eight or more?) ahead of those chasing automatic promotion, then no reason why West Brom won’t go full strength, especially in front of the home fans for the first time in the FA Cup this season.
For Steve Bruce, he will no doubt be hoping that Newcastle continue to crawl to safety whilst also praying West Brom are pulled right back into simply been one of any number that could get a top two spot.
After struggling the past two rounds against League One opposition, little doubt that for Steve Bruce and NUFC, the team top of the second tier is far tougher, especially at their own stadium.
Rather bizarrely, after 25 games Newcastle find themselves playing the next four fixtures against clubs that are all no more than one point away from NUFC – Palace on 30 points, whilst Arsenal, Burnley, Newcastle and Southampton are all on 31.
Southampton follows the cup match but ahead of the West Brom game, here’s hoping Newcastle can at the very least start showing some kind of a goal threat, that doesn’t rely on such high levels of luck and leaving it until the very late stages of games.
As you can see from the Championship table above, West Brom have scored more than anybody else (in the entire division) but conceded more than any other in the top five. So surely a game where Newcastle should be going on the attack.
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