It is going to come down to the wire for Newcastle United as they look to clinch an appearance in the Champions League for the 2023-24 season.
This past weekend Newcastle received just one point in a draw to Leeds United, giving room for the rest of the table to catch up to them within the top 3. The Magpies, who have three games remaining in the current Premier League season, need a maximum of five points in order to qualify for the Champions League.
Well, can it be done?
It is going to be tough, but yes, yes it can.
Currently, Newcastle United sits miles ahead of their opponents in the Premier League table. The current third-place club has an overall record of 18-12-5 with 66 points.
Right behind the Magpies sit Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool. Fortunately for Newcastle, they have the tie over Manchester United and Tottenham, with the only concern being the series lost to Liverpool this season.
However, when it comes to goal differential it frankly is not even relatively close.
They sit in third place in the league in goal differential, with a 32 difference, while also being tied for first place in the league in the least amount of goals allowed.
Tied with Manchester City, Newcastle’s defensive line has allowed just 31 goals on the season, with the next closest to them being Arsenal’s 39.
Heading into the final few games of the season Newcastle can avoid these statistical comparisons and battles by finishing the job on the pitch.
Heading into their final three games of the season Newcastle is going up against teams you cannot just overlook.
This coming week on Thursday, May 18, they will take on Brighton. While they are no team to overlook, the Magpies may be able to capitalize on the defensive stability Brighton has lacked this season.
While allowing 45 goals this year they do remain within the top 10 of the league table but have recently hit a slump allowing five goals against Everton this past Monday.
In the 5-1 loss the team looked lost, something the Magpies can relate to at times.
This game should be fairly competitive for both sides, with either able to run away with the contest. Although, with that being said, Newcastle should walk away with a victory.
After taking on Brighton they will have their final home game of the season against Leicester City.
Unfortunately for Leicester, relegation seems to be on the horizon as they sit in 19th in the league table. However, that can add fuel to the fire and the Magpies have to be ready to play. Both squads will have a lot on the line and will be ready to play.
If the Magpies are locked in and ready to go, the game should be a piece of cake, giving them three points.
Newcastle will then go on the road as they take on Chelsea, who have been highly regarded as one of the most inconsistent teams in the league this season. While they dominate at times, including in the Champions League this year, other times they look like a completely different squad that cannot find their footing.
Even though that may be the case, Newcastle can relate to that claim as well.
Both teams will need to be at the top of their game to finish their season as they match up fairly well. The last time they played one another came back in November of 2022 when the Magpies squeaked away with a 1-0 victory.
With Chelsea having vengeance on their mind, and Newcastle looking to finish the season strong, that contest will be a must-watch.
Ultimately, Newcastle should finish the season with three points against Brighton and Leicester City before securing one against Chelsea for a total of seven to finish the season.
While that would be best case scenario, one thing is always certain: never expect perfection and always expect drama towards the end of the Premier League season.
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Brighton vs. Newcastle United: Thursday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m. GMT
Leicester City vs. Newcastle United: Monday, May 22 at 8:00 p.m. GMT
Chelsea vs. Newcastle United: Sunday, May 28 at 4:30 p.m. GMT