NUFC fans and players may feel obliged to relax following Monday’s confirmation of promotion back to the Premier League, however it may have gone under the radar that a win tonight would pile pressure on table topping Brighton, keeping our slim title hopes very much alive.
Brighton were handed the opportunity to be confirmed as champions this time last week, but spurned their big opportunity in a 2-0 away defeat to Norwich.
Since then, Newcastle have beaten Preston on Monday, closing the gap to 4, with a victory tonight seeing us move to within a single point of Chris Hughton’s side.
Brighton could still be confirmed as title winners should they beat Bristol City at the Amex on Saturday, but a win tonight would certainly pile huge pressure on the Seagulls to get the job done tomorrow.
I fully expect Brighton to see off Bristol City tomorrow, but should they fail to win, Newcastle could have a real chance of lifting the title on the final day of the season (providing we win tonight).
If Brighton drew against Bristol City tomorrow, they would move 2 points clear of us going into the final day of the season, where we play at home to Barnsley and they face a tough away trip to Aston Villa.
Should we beat Barnsley, Brighton MUST win at Villa park to retain their place at the top.
Essentially, we must win tonight and against Barnsley next Saturday, hoping that Brighton fail to win in either of their last 2 against Bristol City and Villa.
While this seems highly unlikely given Brighton’s recent form, an NUFC win tonight followed by a Brighton slip up tomorrow could be all it takes, with Newcastle having the superior fixture on the final day of the season as well as the greater goal difference.
Our title chances remain slim, but a win tonight is of paramount importance if we wish to keep our title challenge alive.
Howay the lads!