Newcastle United are in the European box seat can drive bigger wedge into so-called big six

So where exactly are we as we’re about to kick up dust again? Not in the land of plenty but neither in hell’s dungeon. We’re on Hopeful Highway, the road to somewhere or nowhere.

Newcastle United want to finish sixth at least which would guarantee Europe and also further scatter the self-appointed Super Six meaning Manchester United and Chelsea finishing beneath us. Wouldn’t that be simply wonderful?

Man U and Chelsea shunted into the sidings. We are super sick of choking on the exhaust fumes of the so called Red Devils – older fans will recall them twice denying us the Premier League title in successive seasons when The Entertainers were our bible carriers, never mind last season’s Carabao Cup final. And as for the Chelsea Pensioners they are England’s scatter gunners trying to buy the brightest baubles when having absolutely no idea about shrewd business recruitment. No class, just crass. Buy in bulk and pile high as Mike Ashley would say.

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However let us not get above ourselves. Oh no. History has demanded caution in our case. So often hope has been dashed on the rocks of disappointment. So let us approach Crystal Palace away with belief and determination but no feeling that all will be well as a matter of course. After all, they are on a winning run – of two games!

I repeat: where are we? Well with six matches to go United reside in the box seat of sixth place which makes it their position to hold or lose. Let us look at the facts as we accept that Manchester City (as always), Liverpool and Arsenal are out of reach while Aston Villa and Spurs battle for the fourth Champions League position bar a miracle.

Here are the standings beneath the top five before Arsenal v Chelsea on tonight:

  • 6 Newcastle P 32, GD 17, Pts 50
  • 7 Man Utd P 32, GD -1, Pts 50
  • 8 West Ham P 34, GD -9, Pts 48
  • 9 Chelsea P 31, GD 9, Pts 47.

And here are the remaining fixtures of the chasers:

  • NEWCASTLE: Crystal Palace (A) – April 24; Sheffield United (H) – April 27; Burnley (A) – May 4; Brighton (H) – May 11; Manchester United (A) – May 15; Brentford (A) – May 19.
  • MANCHESTER UNITED: Sheffield United (H) – April 24; Burnley (H) – April 27; Crystal Palace (A) – May 6; Arsenal (H) – May 12; Newcastle United (H) – May 15; Brighton (A) – May 19.
  • WEST HAM: Liverpool (H) – April 27; Chelsea (A) – May 5; Luton Town (H) – May 11; Manchester City (A) – May 19.
  • CHELSEA: Arsenal (A) – last night April 23; Aston Villa (A) – April 27; Tottenham (H) – May 2; West Ham (A) – May 5; Nottingham Forest (A) – May 11; Brighton (A) – May 15; Bournemouth (H) – May 19.

The remaining Premier League fixtures for Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Chelsea
The remaining Premier League fixtures for Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Chelsea

Conclusion: United can do it. However we must think about right now where at this late stage any defeat seems like the death knell while every victory catapults towards the stars.

Palace have just completed stunning back to back victories over teams above them. They deflated Liverpool’s title hopes before an unbelieving Kop 1-0 and then slaughtered West Ham 5-2. Flash in the pan, however bright, or can they do it a third time? Certainly United will not surrender like the hapless Hammers.

The warning is that Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise are back in harness and they can play a bit. They have only started together in six league fixtures this season but were the architects of victory over the Hammers. Eze’s 18 goals and seven assists since the start of last season is the most of any Palace player. He scored against West Ham and so did Olise, the crucial first two goals of the match. As compatible as Ant and Dec, Laurel and Hardy, Morecambe and Wise, fish and chips. United will have to watch them.

Palace did Newcastle a favour by beating West Ham who could have gone above the Mags but as a consequence look a spent force given their remaining fixtures. Now let us beat Palace as a thank you. Neither fear nor gratitude ought to be emotions that are contemplated.

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View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/newcastle-united-european-box-seat-29042513

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