Newcastle sit on three points from three games so far but have some momentum after beating West Ham last time out at SJP. Losing to Spurs, especially with ten men, was no disgrace on the opening day but the defeat at Huddersfield was poor and a little alarming.
When we were given the fixtures at the start of the summer the first six games had been kind to Newcastle. Only Spurs finished in the top half of the six last year and two were games against sides that came up with us from the Championship. Supposed ‘easier’ games means a chance to start well and keep our heads above relegation waters. The two previous times we went down we were in the bottom three pretty much all season; our start this year is a chance to avoid that. Here are our next three matches:
This weekend sees us travel to Wales against a side that is likely to be competing in the bottom half of the table with us come May. Paul Clement’s side performed a mini great escape to retain their Premier League status last year but have since lost their two key players this summer in Sigurdsson and Llorente. They have been replaced with a return to the club for Wilfred Bony and the stunning loan capture of Renato Sanches. The game may come too early for them to be integrated into the squad though, so this may be a good time to play the Swans.
Mark Hughes’ Stoke City side then come up to St.James’ a week later for another key clash. This is another winnable game and a yardstick of where we stand against sides we will have to beat to stay up this season. Stoke have a strong home record historically at the Britannia but usually don’t travel well. The likes of new signing Jese will have to be kept at bay but Stoke tend to blow hot and cold throughout the season. The great atmosphere we created for the players at home against West Ham could well see us over the line again.
We then travel to the Amex on the 24th September for another reunion with Chris Houghton’s side. It brings backs memories of our key 2-1 victory there last season which was a big step towards automatic promotion. It was by no means an easy game and we were trailing for most of the game and only came back into it with a total fluke of an equaliser from Mo Diame. Let’s hope we see another late winner this round, like we did when Perez sealed the points last spring.
What points total would you expect six games in?
After these three games I think a healthy total would be 8/9 points. We have 3 at the moment so that would mean picking up 5 points or so in the next three games ,which considering we are playing teams in and around us, is what we need to be delivering. Of course, there are no easy games and it is usually the Newcastle way to struggle against sides we expect to get something out of.
What results do you expect over the next three games?