The final international break of 2020 is finally coming to an end, which means all the attention will soon be switching back to the Premier League. It promises to be an important couple of months for all teams in the top-flight, as the festive period typically decides what teams will be fighting for in the second half of the season.
Steve Bruce will already be looking at these fixtures and calculating the points that he expects his team to get, but which three fixtures will be the most important during this stage of the season?
Brentford vs Newcastle United
It isn’t just the Premier League that will be heating up during December, as the EFL Cup also resumes. Bruce admitted when he arrived at the club that he was targeting cup success, as it has been 65 years since the Toon have won a major domestic trophy.
Newcastle performed well in the FA Cup before being beaten by Manchester City in the quarterfinals, but they will have an excellent chance of reaching the semi-finals this season. Brentford will be Newcastle’s opponent on the 22nd December. It will be a golden opportunity to reach the semi-finals of a cup competition, and experts on Football Whispers have indicted that Bruce will likely prioritise this fixture over the Manchester City fixture, which is the Boxing Day clash.
Newcastle United vs Fulham
Before the Toon come up against Brentford in the EFL Cup, they will have a huge Premier League clash at St James’ Park against Fulham. The newly-promoted Cottagers have been struggling for points throughout the season, and are looking like one of the teams that will be battling relegation this season.
Newcastle will be looking to avoid getting dragged into that battle, which means that it will be essential that they pick up the three points from this home fixture. This game against Fulham could set to tone for the run of fixtures that Newcastle have afterwards, which includes tricky tests against City, Liverpool and Leicester City. Bruce will likely expect all three points from this fixture, anything other than that could see the pressure on the manager begin to build.
Newcastle United vs Leicester City
The fixture computer wasn’t exactly kind to Newcastle this season, as the Toon face Manchester City and Liverpool in back to back games on Boxing Day and the 28th December. Those fixtures could be a bridge too far, as many expect Liverpool and City to once again be the sides challenging for the Premier League title this season. The best way to get value on either side to win the league is by using a Betfred promo code.
However, Newcastle’s busy festive period will be brought to a close on the 2nd January, as they come up against Leicester City at St James’ Park. This will be another challenging fixture for the Magpies, as Leicester have been flying throughout the early part of the season. However, a huge home win against a talented opposition could be a huge result to start the new calendar year and will see the team have huge confidence going into the second half of the season.