Newcastle picked up crucial points in recent games against Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley but they are far from out of the woods yet as they head into a series of tough fixtures in coming weeks.
Newcastle currently have a six-point cushion above the relegation zone with a game in hand against 18th placed Fulham. Fulham’s hopes of remaining as a Premier League side next season were crushed after recent losses to Man City, Leeds, Aston Villa and Wolves; results that have no doubt helped Newcastle’s bid to stay in the Premier League with bookies, such as the ones listed on WhichBookie.com, having lengthened the odds of relegation to 4/1 from just over evens a couple of weeks ago.
Here are Newcastle and Fulham’s remaining fixtures:
West Ham (H)
Leicester City (A)
Manchester City (H)
Sheffield United (H)
Manchester United (A)
Fulham need to find a minimum of six points from their remaining six matches to stand a chance of staying up with points against Burnley, Southampton and Newcastle all possible. For Newcastle, their next five consecutive fixtures are against teams in the top half of the table and so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them on the same number of points as they are now when they host Sheff Utd at St James’ Park on 15th May. Picking up three points in that game would surely ease the pressure going into the final game of the season for Bruce’s side and it is possible that Newcastle could have secured their safety by that point also.
Goal difference may very well play a part in the final standings with just one goal currently separating Newcastle and Fulham. With the upcoming fixtures Newcastle have, Bruce will want to concede as few as possible for this very reason and would happily take a point from any of those games. The same applies to Fulham who have to travel to Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United with the difference being that they will have to pick up points along the way.
It is possible that the fate of Newcastle United could come down to the final game of the season which is a scenario that Bruce, players and the fans will not want. Especially since they have only managed to beat Fulham in one of their last six meetings with them.
Bookmakers seem to be fairly confident that Newcastle will avoid the drop, with some bookies pricing Fulham at as low as 1/6 to go down. However, that can change depending on the outcome of both teams’ results over the coming weeks as we have seen lately.
Here are the current odds for relegation as Newcastle head into their match against West Ham on Saturday.
(Best Odds Shown)
Sheffield United: 1/5000
West Brom: 1/20
Newcastle v West Ham kicks off at 12:30 on Saturday 17th April with live coverage available on Sky Sports Main Event.