The victory over Huddersfield was a massive step to safety and meant March ended on a real high for Newcastle, now boasting three home victories on the belt. The seven point cushion we have over the drop zone should mean a more comfortable April than we imagined a few months ago.
Momentum is with us and the next four games give us the platform to mathematically seal safety before May. Three of the four look relatively tough, but here’s a look at each and how I think we’ll get on:
Leicester City (A)
Our next fixture sees us travel down to the King Power Stadium, as Leicester are on a good run under French boss Claude Puel. They have some excellent players and of course have the threat of Vardy and Mahrez going forward. They will be aiming to finish 7th with the hope of securing a Europa League place. They cut us open on the counter on their way to 3 points earlier in the season at St.James’ but we seemed far more resilient defensively these days. It will be a tough game but a point would be a good return for us, keep the momentum going and another point closer to staying up.
Danger man – Jamie Vardy
Prediction – 1-1
Next up sees Arsenal travel up to St.James’ off the back of a two day turnaround from their crucial Europa League game in Russia. With such a poor season in the league by their standards Europe is their main focus and they main visit us with their eye off the ball and jet lagged. They of course still have quality layers, especially going forward so it’s still a tough ask. We have turned our home form round though and fancy us to come away with something.
Danger man – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Prediction – 1-1
We then travel down to Goodison Park for a reunion with Sam Allardyce, who himself is under pressure to keep his job past the summer on Merseyside. His style of football has not been welcomed by the locals (who can blame them) and they are stumbling towards mid table obscurity. This game is hard to predict (along with the Leicester and Arsenal ones), but if we got 2/3 points from them (with 35 already on the board), it wouldn’t be a bad return at all.
I’ve got a feeling Big Sam will get them right up for this one (he doesn’t like Rafa). It would be typical too if Tosun grabs the winner, with us heavily linked and outbid in January for the Turkish striker.
Danger man – Cenk Tosun
Prediction – 1-0 Everton
West Brom (H)
We see out the month hosting West Brom who unfortunately won’t be managed by ex- Toon boss Alan Pardew. It is likely the Baggies will already be down by this game as they complete a miserable season. This could be the game we confirm our safety as we have to target a win. Like the Huddersfield game, we may have to be patient, but I think we will get the job done.
Danger man – Salomon Rondon
Prediction – 2-0 Newcastle
If we can get 5 points in April it would put us on 40 points and surely safe, which would mark a wonderful season and achievement from Rafa and the players. Let’s be honest, we would have grabbed at the chance of this opportunity at the start of the season and to not be in the mix for ‘Survival Sunday’ would be a big relief.
What points do you think we will pick up this month?