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Opinion

I ranked all the Newcastle United fixtures and on that basis – 16 points from the next possible 18

6 months ago
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Last month I placed all 38 Premier League Newcastle United fixtures in order.

From the number one toughest game, ranked all the way down to the easiest.

It was an attempt to quantify just how difficult a start to the season that Newcastle United had been handed.

Something which I believe now, in the aftermath of the fourth of four games to start the season at Brighton, is even more relevant. Judging by some of the over the top reaction (in my opinion) from certain Newcastle United fans.

So anyway, this is how I ranked the 38 Newcastle United fixtures when I did the article last month.

All 38 Newcastle United Premier League matches, placed in order, toughest to easiest:

Man City v Newcastle

Arsenal v Newcastle

Liverpool v Newcastle

Man U v Newcastle

Chelsea v Newcastle

Newcastle v Man City

Brighton v Newcastle

Tottenham v Newcastle

Aston Villa v Newcastle

Newcastle v Arsenal

Newcastle v Liverpool

Brentford v Newcastle

Newcastle v Man U

West Ham v Newcastle

Crystal Palace v Newcastle

Newcastle v Chelsea

Newcastle v Brighton

Newcastle v Tottenham

Fulham v Newcastle

Nottingham Forest v Newcastle

Bournemouth v Newcastle

Wolves v Newcastle

Everton v Newcastle

Newcastle v Aston Villa

Burnley v Newcastle

Newcastle v Brentford

Newcastle v Crystal Palace

Newcastle v Nottingham Forest

Newcastle v West Ham

Newcastle v Bournemouth

Newcastle v Fulham

Sheff Utd v Newcastle

Newcastle v Wolves

Newcastle v Everton

Luton v Newcastle

Newcastle v Burnley

Newcastle v Sheff Utd

Newcastle v Luton

So the first four Newcastle United fixtures, as I saw it, were ranked as the following (number 1 toughest number 38 easiest):

24th Newcastle 5 Aston Villa 1

1st Man City 1 Newcastle 0

11th Newcastle 1 Liverpool 0

7th Brighton 3 Newcastle 1

So for me, taken in isolation, yesterday’s defeat to Brighton was no massive shock. Yes it was of course disappointing BUT it was (in my opinion) the seventh most difficult game of the season for Eddie Howe’s team. I would guess that apart from maybe Man City, any club would be happy to take a point if offered it before an away game at Brighton. Indeed, probably count Man City in as well, because on their last three visits to the Amex Stadium they have only won one of them, losing one and drawing the other.

Anyway, for me NUFC have got three of their toughest 11 fixtures out of the way already and considering the hex Liverpool appear to have on us, maybe that should have been a good few places higher.

Anyway, moving on, I think it is worth contrasting the upcoming schedule compared to the opening four games.

These are the next six Newcastle United fixtures in the Premier League and their position in terms of where they rank in my order of difficulty:

26th Newcastle v Brentford

32nd Sheff Utd v Newcastle

36th Newcastle v Burnley

14th West Ham v Newcastle

27th Newcastle v Crystal Palace

22nd Wolves v Newcastle

I don’t take anything for granted BUT I do think there is every reason to believe that with this set of fixtures, Eddie Howe and his players could well go on a run that could see them pick up 16 points from a possible 18.

Five wins and then a draw in the West Ham away game is what I see as more than possible, indeed probable.

If Newcastle can show the levels they did against Villa and the first half against Liverpool, especially when it was 11 v 11, then NUFC are more than capable of going on this successful recovery mission, after just three points from a possible twelve so far.

When we get to that ten match point, 19 points from a possible 30 would be more than a decent start to the season.

For those wanting to judge Eddie Howe and his squad already, I think when we get to the end of October after that Wolves away game, we will all be able to make a more rational judgement.

 

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