Newcastle United have struggled to secure regular points since the turn of the year and that has drawn them right into the relegation battle. The Magpies have picked up only seven points from their 11 Premier League games this year and they are now just three points ahead of Fulham, who are occupying the first of the relegation places.
Steve Bruce’s side have a game in hand when compared to the Cottagers, but they find themselves in a difficult position with injuries to key attacking players. Callum Wilson’s hamstring injury was a big blow for them last month and they are now expected to be without Miguel Almiron (groin) and Allan Saint-Maximin (knee) for the next three games. All three are only due to return after the international break.
Still, that can’t be considered as an excuse for the matches ahead and they need to pick up some points before the internationals. The best betting sites had Newcastle comfortably finishing in the middle of the table last at the start of the season but now the bookmakers are offering short odds on the Magpies to go down. They are scheduled to face a couple of teams right in the relegation mix and can’t afford to give them a boost by handing victories. Here is our preview for the Magpies’ matches this month.
West Bromwich Albion (Away) – March 7:
The Baggies have leaked the most goals (56) in the Premier League this term, but they have improved their defensive displays with just two goals conceded in four matches. Still, there has been some luck along the way. Their victory last weekend came after Brighton & Hove Albion missed twice from the penalty spot. Still, the west Midlands outfit don’t have any major injury concerns and the onus is on them to take the game to the Magpies, given they are nine points adrift of safety. That could play into the hands of the visitors and the game could be decided by one moment of brilliance.
West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Newcastle United
Aston Villa (Home) – March 12:
Unlike the Baggies, Aston Villa are flying high at the top half of the Premier League standings in ninth with 39 points. They have suffered a couple of defeats in the last three matches where they have sorely missed the creativity of talismanic captain Jack Grealish through injury. However, the England international is close to recovery and should be in line to face the Magpies. The Villans are a much better attacking outfit with the 25-year-old in the squad and it could be a tough game for Bruce’s side irrespective of the game being at St James’ Park.
Newcastle United 0-2 Aston Villa
Brighton & Hove Albion (Away) – March 20:
The Seagulls have been one of the league’s best sides in commanding possession, but they have been disappointing in their chance conversion. They missed two penalties against the Baggies last weekend and prior to that, they dominated Crystal Palace only to concede twice with the Eagles’ only touches in the box. The Magpies can anticipate to be without possession for vast periods, but the Seagulls have the tendency to lose concentration. The Brighton are just above on goal difference and judging by how their season has gone, the Magpies should fancy getting something out of the game.
Brighton & Hove Albion 1-1 Newcastle United
Stats from Transfermarkt.com