A win against West Ham on Sunday would put Newcastle United in real contention for the Europa League.
Newcastle United are flying high at the moment and loving life in the Premier League. The Magpies just walked all over Bournemouth (4-1) and claimed an impressive ten points from their last four games.
Steve Bruce’s men have scored nine goals during that time, maintained two clean sheets, and only conceded two goals in the process. As a result, Newcastle United are 15 points clear of the bottom three and are only four points behind seventh-placed Arsenal.
With 42 points on the board and six games remaining in the season, three of which are against teams ranked 15th and lower, Newcastle United have a serious shot at qualifying for Europe, assuming Manchester City’s ban is upheld.
That sounds crazy, but the players rolled up their sleeves and put themselves in this fantastic position. The ultimate objective, as mentioned by Bruce multiple times as of late, is to finish the season in the top ten.
Newcastle United’s stellar performances in Project Restart take that goal a step further if they can claim the double over the Hammers on Sunday. That being said, this weekend’s clash against West Ham at St. James’ Park is now the game of the season for Newcastle United.
Some of you will disagree with that statement and argue that a win would be great, but three points on Sunday would not send us to Europe.
That is a true statement, but, in my eyes, this is the game of the season because three points would put Newcastle United in a solid position to reach new heights.
When competing in a prestigious continental tournament suddenly becomes possible, a sense of euphoria and determination to cross that line takes over the dressing room.
A win over West Ham would only feed the squad’s already-growing confidence. A positive result would also force the team to be competitive and not overly respectful against the likes of Man City (July 8th), Tottenham (July 15th), and Liverpool (July 26th).
The games against Watford (July 11th) and Brighton (July 18th) will be critical as those six points that are up for grabs could be enough to bring European nights to the north east. The important thing to note, though, is that Sunday’s result against West Ham is the major stepping stone.
A draw or a loss would still keep Newcastle United in the race for a top ten finish, but not Europe. A win on Sunday would get the ball rolling for a top eight finish.
A few weeks ago the Magpies were the joint-lowest scorers in the top flight, and today I write an article about the possibility of European football next season.
It just goes to show how meaningful a good run of form over a couple of games can be for a team when the middle of the table is so congested.