As the International break draws to a close, Newcastle United fans are set for a busy week at St. James’ Park, with the Magpies facing back to back home games against Wigan Athletic and Burton Albion over the next 6 days.
While myself and the entire Geordie faithful will be hoping to see the team pick up what would be a valuable six points, history suggests it won’t be that straight forward – despite Wigan and Burton presenting what may appear to be two ‘winnable’ home fixtures.
Remarkably, Newcastle have not won back to back home league games since November 2013, where Alan Pardew’s NUFC saw off Norwich and West Brom, earning consecutive 2-1 wins at St.James’ Park.
Four years on, upcoming games against Wigan and Burton represent the FIFTH time United have played back to back home league games this season, with Rafa’s side failing to take six points from any of the previous four pairs of matches, as highlighted below:
Results in back to back home league games at St.James’ Park this season:
- Huddersfield (lost 1-2) / Reading (won 4-1)
- Sheffield Wednesday (lost 0-1) / Nottingham Forest (won 3-1)
- QPR (drew 2-2) / Derby County (won 1-0)
- Aston Villa (won 2-0) / Bristol City (drew 2-2)
With the last pair of back to back home league wins coming in 2013, Newcastle have not only failed to repeat the feat this season, but in the last 13 attempts over the past four years!
While this does not bode well for Benitez’s side, records are their to be broken.
Several players in the Newcastle squad have had two weeks off to fully prepare and refocus for the task in hand, with Benitez no doubt benefiting from the break, giving him time to rethink Newcastle’s stuttering home form.
The last two home games may have been highly concerning, scraping a 2-2 draw against the struggling Bristol City and a comprehensive 3-1 defeat to Fulham, but I am confident that the side will get back to winning ways over the next week.
Let’s hope so, given six points could put Newcastle in touching distance of a return to the Premier League next season.