Newcastle United are safe, but will they finish in or below the top ten after taking four points early on in Project Restart?
It has been great seeing football return to our television screens, and it has been even better seeing Newcastle United in action twice this week. The Magpies began their Project Restart journey with an impressive 3-0 victory over Sheffield United and claimed a point against relegation-threatened Aston Villa in a 1-1 draw on Wednesday.
In total, Newcastle United put four points in the bag from their first two games, which took their point tally from 35 to 39. Overall, the Magpies have claimed seven points from their last three games against Southampton (W), Sheffield United (W) and Aston Villa (D), and they maintained two clean sheets in the process.
Did these results and this positive performance record have an impact on the calculations published by FiveThirtyEight? In short, not really. At the time of this writing, the calculations predict Newcastle United to finish the season 14th in the table with 45 points.
Steve Bruce and midfielder Jonjo Shelvey both stated that the team’s objective is to end the season in the top ten, but FiveThirtyEight think Newcastle United only have a 4% chance of achieving their goal. When looking at the table, Newcastle United are right in the mix and they could finish the season anywhere between eighth and fourteenth.
Of their remaining games, four of the Magpies’ opponents are in real danger of being relegated. The first week of July could see Newcastle United break into the top ten if they handle business against Bournemouth (A) and West Ham (H).
Newcastle United have a decent shot at claiming more points in three of their last four games when they take on Watford (A), Brighton (A) and Liverpool (H). Wait a minute, Liverpool? Yes, it sounds crazy, but the Reds will be Premier League champions by then and Jurgen Klopp could deploy a less competitive, star-less lineup on the final day.
Do you agree with these calculations from FiveThirtyEight or will Newcastle United fight their way to earn a top ten finish? Let us know in the comments section below.