Newcastle United are enjoying their best season for many years now and are currently dreaming of Champions League qualification.
Following their 2-0 victory over Liverpool on Sunday Newcastle find themselves level on points with fifth placed Chelsea but 5 points behind Tottenham who currently sit in the fourth qualification spot. These are the 3 main reasons I feel Newcastle will struggle to finish ahead of Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal.
Newcastle face a tough away game at Swansea on Friday before playing Bolton at home on the Monday who are fighting for their life down the bottom of the Premier League. In the last four games of the season Newcastle really have their work cut out as they face 3 tough away games at Wigan, Everton and Champions League rivals Chelsea. While their only home game is against title hopefuls Manchester City.
There are many tough games in these fixtures and if it did come down to the game at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have proved numerous times this season that they know how to win the big games.
Either Tottenham or Arsenal are pretty much guarenteed 3rd place, meaning one of the two will be fighting with Newcastle and Chelsea for 4th place. While Newcastle are having a tremendous season and have a good squad they are not unknown to drop ‘stupid’ points i.e the draw at home to Wolves.
Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are also on form at the moment and are vastly more experienced at qualifying for the Champions League in recent years than Newcastle.
Newcastle would have to beat off fierce rivals in order to finish fourth which will be a very difficult task considering Chelsea and Arsenal are better known as title challengers in recent years.
Manchester United moved 5 points clear at the top of the table yesterday which has called for some pundits to claim the title race is over, however, both Newcastle and Chelsea find themselves 5 points behind Tottenham and Arsenal but the race for the Champions League goes on.
I feel 5 points for both Chelsea and Newcastle is alot to make up with only 7 matches remaining. It would mean Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea all losing 2 matches and Newcastle not to lose in their remaining 7 games.
Newcastle have enjoyed a tremendous season and if Champions League does prove to be a step to far – which isn’t set in stone as anything can happen in football – I hope the FA Cup final is between 2 sides who are in Europe meaning Newcastle would qualify for Europe by finishing 6th, an achievement their hard work and performances deserve this season.
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