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Opinion

The 9 of 24 Newcastle United matches that need to be won to avoid relegation

2 months ago
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There are 14 Newcastle United matches gone so far in the Premier League.

A very even split of seven draws and seven defeats.

The only ‘small’ problem is that we are into December and the win column is bare.

The belated departure of Steve Bruce has brought some improvement in both performances and results, though still not enough to tip over into victories.

Steve Bruce managed three draws and six defeats in the first nine games of the season (all competitions).

Since he left it has been four draws and two defeats, with Eddie Howe experiencing defeat at Arsenal and draws against Brentford and Norwich.

This is how the Premier League table now stands on Thursday (2 December 2021) morning:

Premier League Table 2 December 2021

Last season, the presence of three feeble teams at the bottom meant that a ridiculously low 29 points ensured safety for sure, Fulham ending up third bottom on only 28 points.

This season I just don’t see this happening.

Looking at that current Premier League table, Watford are fourth bottom and averaging almost a point a game.

So over a 38 match season, I think we are very likely looking at around that 37 or 38 points mark to pretty much guarantee safety in 2021/22.

At the moment, Newcastle United are averaging 0.5 points per game, which if continued, would see them finish up on 19 points, some 18 points behind my predicted safety mark.

With 24 Newcastle United matches still to go, we need by my reckoning another 30 points to get us up to 37 points, so how can it be done…potentially?

Well, I think that you are always going to pick up a few draws regardless, so that leaves Newcastle needing eight, probably nine wins, to get up to a 37 points likely safety level.

I have arranged these remaining 24 Newcastle United matches in the order of most winnable at the top, in my opinion, down to very least likely to win at the bottom:

Burnley (H)

Watford (H)

Crystal Palace (H)

Norwich (A)

Villa (H)

Everton (H)

Brighton (H)

Wolves (H)

Leeds (A)

Burnley (A)

Southampton (A)

Leicester (H)

Brentford (A)

Everton (A)

Arsenal (H)

Man Utd (H)

Leicester (A)

Tottenham (A)

West Ham (A)

Liverpool (H)

Man City (H)

Chelsea (A)

Liverpool (A)

Man City (A)

So looking at the nine most winnable games (in my opinion), we have:

Burnley (H), Watford (H), Crystal Palace (H), Norwich (A), Villa (H), Everton (H), Brighton (H), Wolves (H), Leeds (A)

I think that if Eddie Howe gets the team sorted, then Newcastle are capable of winning any of these nine matches, no surprise that most (seven) of the nine are at home.

Of course, winning all these nine most winnables, is very unlikely.

So I would add these extra next five on the list to make it 14 Newcastle United matches that it is realistic we could get all or at least most of those nine wins from, if luck and ability is with NUFC:

Burnley (A), Southampton (A), Leicester (H), Brentford (A), Everton (A)

Then for me you have the next five, where there is still some hope of winning these games, after all, we have won all of these fixtures at least once in recent years:

Arsenal (H), Man Utd (H), Leicester (A), Tottenham (A), West Ham (A)

The remaining five are matches where I don’t expect to get anything but last season NUFC did draw home and away with Liverpool, whilst beating Man City in 2018/19 and drawing in 2019/20 at SJP:

Liverpool (H), Man City (H), Chelsea (A), Liverpool (A), Man City (A)

Burnley is at the very top of my list of most winnable (must win?) games and whilst it would still be only one win and three points, beating them on Saturday would be a huge stride forward just in terms of giving a starting point and some momentum.

Beating Sean Dyche’s team would leave us with ‘only’ another eight to get in the last 23 Newcastle United matches, so Saturday is where it really needs to start.

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