The home stretch for those around us, and where will that leave us?


G'day Newcastle fans, less than 24 hours ago (at the time of writing) we got a pivotal 1-0 over Huddersfield. A huge leap towards premier league survival was taken and we are currently 7 points clear of the drop zone, with as many games to go and some teams below us have one game fewer. Bearing this in mind, I thought I'd quickly look at the run ins of a few of our relegation rivals, and see how many points they are likely to accrue and where this leaves us.

At the time of writing, Newcastle are 12th with 31 games played, 35 points and a -9 goal difference

Run in:

Leicester (A)

Arsenal (H)

Tottenham (A)*

Everton (A)

West Brom (H)

Watford (A)

Chelsea (H)

West Brom:

20th, 32 games played with 20 points and a -26 goal difference

Run in:

Swansea (H)

Man United (A) Liverpool (H)

Newcastle (A)

Tottenham (H)

Crystal Palace (A)

The absolute best case scenario for West Brom is 10 points from these games (which is about as likely as S********d winning the Championship this season). Realistically they'll be lucky to get 5. Even if we don't pick up another point, West Brom will not finish above Newcastle this season.

Expected final tally: 22 points

Best case scenario final tally: 30 points

Think I might be wasting my time writing about this lot, they're cooked.

Stoke City:

19th, 31 games played with 27 points and -29 goal difference

Run in:

Arsenal (A)

Spurs (H)

West Ham (A)

Burnley (H)

Liverpool (A)

Crystal Palace (H)

Swansea (A)

With a decent run in, the best case scenario for Stoke is not bad, with 13 points being highly unlikely but not beyond the realms of possibility. Their goal difference is the worst in the league and could really come back to bite them, however I am not too sure it will matter as I only really see them picking up another 5-7 points, which would still leave them short of Newcastle's current tally

Expected final tally: 33 points

Best case scenario final tally: 40 points

Not quite cut adrift yet, but the fact that they play some stronger teams such as the North London clubs before the last few games could mean they simply wind up too far back to catch up.

Southampton:

18th, 31 games played with 28 points and -18 goal difference

Run in:

Swansea (A)*

Arsenal (A)

Chelsea (H)

Leicester (A)

Bournemouth (H)

Everton (A)

Man City (H)

Southampton's run in can only be described as brutal. They have an FA Cup game on April 22 to further clog up their fixture list and only play one side who are realistically in the relegation battle in their final 7 games (Swansea at a time TBD). They are on a horrific run of form, with back to back 3-0 defeats against relegation rivals. Their best case scenario for me is another 8 points, which given their current form is very unlikely and I can really only see them picking up 5 at the most meaning that they would need a miracle to finish above us, even if we lose all of our final 7 games.

Expected final tally: 32 points

Best case scenario final tally: 36 points

Crystal Palace:

17th, 32 games played with 30 points and -19 goal difference

Run in:

Bournemouth (A)

Brighton (H)

Watford (A)

Leicester (H)

Stoke (A)

West Brom (H)

Without a game against a top 7 side, Palace could win all of their remaining games. However, they could also not accrue another point until their final 2 games. A real Jekyll and Hyde team, whose recent form has been solid, but with little reward. They are very dependent on Wilfried Zaha, and have not won a game without him since September 2016 (according to an article from the Croydon advertiser, don’t shoot the messenger), and have scored one goal and accrued no points without him this season. Zaha has picked up a couple of injuries this season, and although he is currently fit, one knock to the wide man could spell big danger for the South London club.

Expected final tally: 38 points

Best case scenario final tally 46 points (very unlikely)

Huddersfield:

16th, 32 games played with 31 points and -28 goal difference

Run in:

Brighton (A)

Watford (H)

Chelsea (A)*

Everton (H)

Man City (A)

Arsenal (H)

Another side with a difficult finish to the season, Huddersfield's last 3 games are all likely to be against top 6 sides (although Arsenal rank 10th on the away table with only 13 points away from the Emirates). Therefore, in order for the side with the second worst goal difference in the league, the equal fewest goals scored in the league and without a goal since their 2-1 win over West Brom on February 25 (that's 4 games now). Additionally, they have only picked up 1 point from their last 4 games. Their best case scenario is an unlikely 10 points although I think they’re in real trouble and can't see them accruing more than 6 points for the rest of the season, and to be honest, they'd be lucky to get that.

Expected final tally: 35 points

Best case scenario final tally: 41 points

Swansea City:

15th, 31 games played with 31 points and -19 goal difference

Run in:

West Brom (A)

Everton (H)

Southampton (H)*

Man City (A)

Chelsea (H)

Bournemouth (A)

Stoke (H)

An up and down side with an up and down draw. Swansea play all 3 sides currently in the bottom 3, meaning that they could either get sucked right down into the drop zone, or they could really pull away and could still accrue a number of points, possibly as many as 13. Lately, Swansea have been one of the more impressive sides in the relegation scrap as of late, ranking 10th on Transfermarkt's form table from matchday 27 and I see them doing fairly well on their run in

Expected final tally: 38 points

Best case scenario final tally: 44 points

West Ham:

14th, 31 games played with 33 points and -18 goal difference

Run in:

Chelsea (A)

Stoke (H)

Man United (H)*

Arsenal (A)

Man City (H)

Leicester (A)

Everton (H)

Probably the side with the most difficult run in of all the other sides in this article, a legitimate argument could be made for West Ham not collecting another point this season, despite their impressive performance against Southampton. At best, I can see them getting another 7 points, such is the difficulty of their run in and their recent form has been insipid (aside from the Southampton game).

Expected final tally: 37 points

Best case scenario final tally: 40 points

Brighton:

13th, 31 games with 34 points and -14 goal difference

Run in:

Huddersfield (H)

Crystal Palace (A)

Man City (A)*

Tottenham (H)

Burnley (A)

Man United (H)

Liverpool (A)

Maybe I was wrong. Brighton's run in is close to being as difficult as West Ham's, although their next 2 games are both very winnable, meaning that they could pull away from the drop zone before they head into a final 5 games where the only game that looms as a realistic chance of points is Burnley away, although Burnley's home form has been surprisingly poor given the season that they have had. Their best case scenario is 9 points, although they probably won't need many more points to ensure their safety (which is good for them, because their run in is absolutely brutal)

Expected final tally: 39 points

Best case scenario final tally: 43 points

*denotes postponed game with time TBC

Conclusion, without accruing another point, we would still be a strong chance of staying up (although it would be nerve wracking like no tomorrow).

For your reference, here is a link to the Premier League home and away tables: http://www.soccerstats.com/homeaway.asp?league=england

Sorry for the length of the article but it's been a while and there was a lot to get through. As always, tweet me @AUSLiamNUFC to discuss and debate this with me further.

#NewcastleUnited

51 views