• Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Brighter days ahead for Newcastle United?

ByDave Stopher

Oct 29, 2018

The bookmakers are convinced that Newcastle United have what it takes to fight their way out of the relegation zone and beat the drop. The Magpies have embarked upon a miserable start to the 2018/19 campaign, losing eight and drawing three of their opening 11 games. That winless run has left them marooned in 19th place, ahead of Huddersfield by virtue of goal difference only, and manager Rafa Benitez fears the axe. But a potential lifeline could come from the dreadful form of Huddersfield, Cardiff, and Fulham, who are all shipping goals at an alarming rate.

Fulham simply cannot stop getting thrashed at the moment and their defensive naivety has led to them conceding 28 goals already this season, more than any other Premier League club. They now have just five points and sit 18th in the table. Cardiff has one win to their name, but they have also lost seven out of their opening 10 fixtures and they could pay the price for a lack of investment in the summer. Huddersfield has an identical record to Newcastle, with three draws and seven defeats from 10 matches, and they look to be in real trouble.

The relegation odds make intriguing reading. At Bookmaker they have Huddersfield as favourites to go down, to know more about Bookmaker read their review written by SBR. They appear to have lost the fighting spirit that defined their 2017/18 campaign and nobody would be surprised to see them heading back to the Championship. Cardiff are also odds-on to go straight back down to the second tier and many bookmakers have them level with Huddersfield in the betting. They appear to lack quality at both ends of the pitch and they too look doomed.

Then it gets interesting. Fulham has gone into 10/11 to be relegated, and then you will see Burnley at 6/4 before finding Newcastle at 7/4. Sean Dyche’s Burnley side finished seventh in the table last season, earning all manner of plaudits for thriving despite their limited resources. But they have made a poor start to the current campaign, losing six of their opening 10 games. They have just eight points so far, while Southampton have seven and they also look like getting sucked into a relegation scrap. It shows how easily the Magpies could fight their way out of trouble and it should provide a modicum of encouragement to everyone connected with the club. They have been dreadful so far, but they have a lot of hard games out of the way and there up some winnable fixtures up ahead.

Watford and Bournemouth are both in decent form, but they are not exactly titans of the top flight and Newcastle were winning those sort of games last season. Then the Magpies have a massive game away at Burnley on November 26, before hosting West Ham and travelling to Everton and playing Wolves at St James’s Park. On December 15, Newcastle are away at Huddersfield, and then they have a massive six-pointer at home to Fulham on December 22. By Christmas, they could be in a much healthier position and Benitez deserves to be given that long to turn things around.

The Spaniard has stuck by the club despite a shocking lack of investment in the first team squad, and Newcastle are lucky to have him in the dugout. They have made a sluggish start to the season, but fortunately, their rivals are also in woeful form and he has a great opportunity to drag Newcastle out of the mire in the weeks ahead. Everton, Blackburn, and Derby County have all survived after going their opening 10 Premiership games without a win and Newcastle might yet join them.