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Opinion

Premier League fixtures this weekend – Newcastle United perspective on matches elsewhere

1 month ago
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Looking at these Premier League fixtures this weekend.

Seeing the other games from a Newcastle United perspective.

Eddie Howe and his players with a weekend off.

The Premier League ‘winter break’ seeing a split schedule, ten teams playing last weekend and the other ten this weekend.

As a Newcastle United fan though, have a look at this weekend’s Premier League fixtures and have a think about what you’d like to happen and what is likely in terms of results:

Saturday 20 January

Arsenal v Crystal Palace (12.30pm)

Brentford v Nottingham Forest (5.30pm)

Sunday 21 January

Sheffield United v West Ham (2pm)

Bournemouth v Liverpool (4.30pm)

Monday 22 January

Brighton v Wolves (7.45pm)

This is how the table looks on Saturday morning before this weekend’s Premier League fixtures are played:

My Conclusions

Recent results seeing sights lowered for NUFC, at least for the time being.

However, what about these Premier League fixtures featuring clubs towards the upper end of the table?

Kicking things off this match at the Emirates in the early Saturday kick-off.

Not so long ago it would have been seen as a home banker, just maybe though Palace might get something. Not because they are in great form but they have got one or two big players back fit now and they did end a PL run of three points from their last seven games with a 3-1 home win over Brentford.

Arsenal though in their last seven games (all competitions), have won only once, 2-0 at home to Brighton. They have lost to Villa, Liverpool, West Ham and Fulham, plus drawn against PSV and Liverpool.

Goals have really become a problem, only one in their last three games. If Arsenal don’t start well today you can see their fickle fans getting straight on their backs, very interesting if Palace can score first…

It is fifth bottom against sixth bottom but Brentford v Forest brings other interest to the table. Ivan Toney returns from his gambling ban and Thomas Frank has already named him captain for the match, Toney repaying that trust / loyalty by saying he might move to another club this month… Meanwhile Forest in Premier League action for first time since hearing they had been charged by the Premier League with breaking FFP rules, with surely a points deduction set to hit their survival bid.

Sunday sees rock bottom Sheffield United meeting sixth top West Ham, however, maybe the possibility of an upset.

The Blades maybe showing signs of having a bit of a go in the second half of the season. Their last six games seeing wins over Brentford and Gillingham (4-0 away from home), a 1-1 draw at Villa which should have been a win as Villa so lucky to equalise very late on. They lost 2-0 to both Man City and Chelsea but very unlucky to lose 3-2 to in-form Luton.

As for West Ham, they ended 2023 very well but since turn of the year they have seen key players injured and after a goalless home draw against Brighton, could only manage a 1-1 with Bristol City at home, before losing the replay 1-0.

Sheffield United will throw everything at this and with points deductions very likely for Forest and Everton (another one!), avoiding relegation maybe not impossible if they can win a few matches, especially at home.

The win over Newcastle has kicked off a remarkable change of fortunes for Bournemouth. Only one win and six defeats in their opening 11 Premier League matches, the Cherries in their last nine games (all competitions) have managed seven wins, one draw and just the one defeat.

Without talisman Mo Salah, Liverpool have looked poor in their last couple of matches and rode their luck. Arsenal should have been five or six goals up by half-time in the FA Cup but somehow ended up losing due to woeful finishing and not great defending. Whilst Fulham took the lead and should have extended that at Anfield, only to let the scousers off the hook, Liverpool a fortunate 2-1 win in that first leg of their Carabao semi-final.

I would be honestly surprised if Bournemouth don’t get at least a point on Sunday.

Brighton v Wolves is an interesting one to finish things off. Wolves could go two points above Newcastle whilst Brighton would go five points clear of NUFC with a home victory.

Media darlings Brighton have won only two of their last 14 Premier League matches and I wouldn’t be putting any money on them for the win. Maybe they will make it three victories in 15 but Wolves in their last three PL matches have won them all, with a 2-1 over Chelsea, 4-1 against Brentford, 3-0 against Everton.

I think Wolves are good for at least a point.

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