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Newcastle United still in trouble despite recent run

Posted on December 8th, 2018 | One Comment |

Rafa Benitez at SJP.
Rafa – Not out of the woods yet.
Newcastle United host Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Sunday aiming to keep themselves clear of the relegation zone.

The Magpies have lost just one of their last six league matches to lie 14th in the table, four points above the bottom three.

However, last weekend’s 3-0 drubbing at home to West Ham United highlighted that manager Rafa Benitez still has a big job on his hands.

Newcastle were much improved at Everton in midweek, deservedly picking up a point courtesy of a 1-1 draw.

After a run of six games without a win, losing five times in that sequence, Wolves pulled off a shock 2-1 win over Chelsea on Wednesday. That result left them 12th in the table, six points ahead of Newcastle.

The home side are priced at 39/20 to win the game and you can learn more here about all the latest odds on the match.

Injuries and Suspensions.

Newcastle will welcome Matt Ritchie back from suspension this weekend, but they have now lost centre-back Fabian Schar to a one-match ban. A toe injury kept Kenedy out against Everton and he is doubtful for Sunday’s game.

Ruben Neves served a one-match ban in midweek and he is expected to return to the starting line-up despite the fact Wolves beat Chelsea in his absence.

Morgan Gibbs-White should retain his place up front after impressing against the Blues, but Jonny remains on the sidelines.

Previous Form.

Newcastle have held the upper hand over Wolves in recent years, losing just one of their last nine meetings in all competitions.

However, Wolves ran out 2-0 winners on their last league visit to St James’ Park back in September 2016 and it would be foolish to underestimate them this weekend.

Having climbed away from the drop zone in recent weeks it is vital that Newcastle keep picking up points over the next few games.

Upcoming fixtures against Huddersfield Town (A) and Fulham (H) both look winnable, but the Boxing Day trip to title-chasing Liverpool is a daunting proposition.

Subsequent matches against Watford (A) and Manchester United (H) also won’t be easy, but if Newcastle can enter the New Year further clear of the bottom three, they would have a decent platform to build on for the rest of the season.

Benitez’s side have done well to move off the bottom of the table, but they remain amongst at least seven sides who appear likely to be battling against relegation this term.

A healthy points return over the next few weeks would go a long way to easing some of the pressure around the club.

NUFCBlog Author: Frankly Various Frankly Various has written 26 articles on this blog.

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One Response

  1. After a tough start to the season, I think the next 3 games are crucial for us. Winning them could certainly (not to say we can’t be dragged back in) pull us out the relegation battle when it comes towards the end of the season and would be a great boost for the team and fans a like ready for the new year. However, to keep the momentum some key, proven players need to be acquired during the window. #toonarmy

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