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Opinion

Absolute madness – Newcastle United go (***)Premier League top half if winning these two matches

1 month ago
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Newcastle United have not featured in the Premier League top half this season.

Not exactly a revelation, when you consider the disastrous summer transfer window and start to the season that Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce were responsible for.

The new owners inheriting an instant relegation battle as they finally got the keys to St James Park in October, Newcastle United not having won a single game in the opening months of the season.

With Eddie Howe then appointed in November after Steve Bruce was belatedly jettisoned, the battle for survival really began. With any thoughts of the Premier League top half absolutely restricted to future seasons.

However…

This is the Premier League table ahead of Sunday afternoon’s (17 April 2022) games:

premier league table 16 April 2022

Whilst these are the upcoming Premier League fixtures up to and including Wednesday night…

Sunday 17 April

Newcastle v Leicester

West Ham v Burnley (2.15pm)

Tuesday 19 April

Liverpool v Man Utd (8pm)

Wednesday 20 April

Chelsea v Arsenal (7.45pm)

Everton v Leicester (7.45pm)

Newcastle v Crystal Palace (7.45pm)

Man City v Brighton (8pm)

If Eddie Howe and the boys beat Leicester this afternoon and Palace on Wednesday night, then I think we can all safely say that relegation has been avoided.

Not getting ahead of myself, honest…

However, what these two wins would / could also mean, is waking up on Thursday morning to see Newcastle United in the Premier League top half (***well, level on points with either one or two clubs in the top half)

This (a place in the Premier League top half / level on points with) would be guaranteed (presuming Newcastle win their two matches) if Man City beat Brighton. Man City lost to Liverpool yesterday but will be throwing absolutely everything at this one. Outside those two at the top, Brighton have summed up the open nature of the rest of the Premier League in recent times, in terms of everybody can beat each other on any given day. Brighton losing six in a row and then a dismal 0-0 home draw with bottom club Norwich, before then winning away at Arsenal and Tottenham in their last two matches. However, despite those last two results, I can’t see anything other than a Man City win.

Leicester are safe in the Premier League but can’t do anything in terms of getting near the top six, plus they are totally focused on their European semi-final now. Similar comments apply to Palace, mid-table in Premier League and only having eyes for their FA Cup semi later today against Chelsea.

It doesn’t mean guaranteed wins for Newcastle United but massive opportunities for NUFC in these two games, against oppositions with priorities elsewhere.

Not out of the question either that relegation threatened Everton could beat Leicester, once again, the Foxes having nothing to play for when it comes to the league.

Two wins for Newcastle and defeats for Leicester and Brighton in midweek, would leave all three clubs (NUFC, Brighton and Leicester) on 40 points, with Newcastle United then playing bottom club Norwich away on Saturday (23 April).

Maybe a little unlikely BUT not impossible…that Newcastle United could even go ahead of Brighton on goal difference. It would ‘only’ need a 12 goal turn around, so for example Man City going goal crazy and putting six past Brighton, with also Newcastle having three goal wins over both Palace and Leicester.

I know we have a tough looking run in but absolutely no reason why Newcastle couldn’t beat Arsenal at home and / or Burnley away. Which then leaves Liverpool home and Man City away where Eddie Howe’s players could have a real go and anything from those would be a bonus.

That’s me done, I’m away for a lie down for some sweet dreams, before heading over the Toon and my pre-match session!

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