After Sunday’s 2-1 win over Arsenal made it four straight victories for the Magpies, Newcastle United has essentially assured its safety from the relegation fight. In recent top-flight seasons, that seemed to be the sole objective. Not so with these lads.
With just five matches remaining, Newcastle sits in 10th place with 41 points and has the 9th best goal differential (-7) in the Premier League. It ranks 7th in the Premier League with just 42 goals conceded, and is on pace to have its best defensive season in the top flight since 2006-07. (Side note: That 2006-07 roster had a wild collection of names).
Newcastle’s remaining fixtures are as follows: @ EVE, v WBA, @WAT, @TOT, v CHE. If the lads can get nine points from those matches, it will achieve a 50 point Premier League season. Newcastle has only achieved that feat once since Alan Shearer retired in 2006. So there is plenty still to play for.
Everton (43 pts) and Leicester City (42) are just above Newcastle in the standings. If the Mags pass either team, it will be Newcastle’s best Premier League finish since the 2011-12 campaign and second-best in the past 12 years. Newcastle will be an underdog in most of its remaining fixtures, though. But if Rafa Benitez can keep motivating Ayoze Perez, Martin Dubravka, Matt Ritchie and the rest to exceed expectations, a Top-8 finish is well within reach.
There will be tons of questions to answer after the season ends. But this is not the time to worry. Here’s hoping our lads have a chance for Top-8 and 50 points when Chelsea comes North on Match Day 38. We haven’t had this kind of success often, so savor every moment!