Can Newcastle United overtake Tottenham and West Ham and finish in the top 10?

Kevin Keegan, in the heady aftermath of Newcastle’s 4-1 win away to Tottenham, has said that if Newcastle keep up their momentum they have a chance to finish in the top 10. Newcastle are 4 points behind Tottenham and 9 behind West Ham, and with 6 games to go (and with Newcastle still to play West Ham, albeit at Upton Park).

Keegan:

“We’re starting to look up now. There is a chance we can catch Spurs and one or two others who get stuck in that middle area where there is not a lot to play for other than pride.”

In some ways this is a smart move by Keegan – he knows his players have failed this season and he knows that they are better than the points table suggests – and if he can get them to play for pride and build up momentum, there’s a chance that they might just overtake Tottenham, if not West Ham.

On the other hand, it’s optimistic and Keegan is bound to get some flak for it.

Let’s look at the fixtures and see what’s possible:

Current league standings

10. West Ham, -4 GD, 44 Pts
11. Tottenham, +6 GD, 39 Pts
12. Newcastle United, -21 GD, 35 Pts

Newcastle United’s remaining games

Saturday, 05 April 2008
Newcastle v Reading, 15:00

Saturday, 12 April 2008
Portsmouth v Newcastle, 15:00

Sunday, 20 April 2008
Newcastle v Sunderland, 13:30

Saturday, 26 April 2008
West Ham v Newcastle, 15:00

Saturday, 03 May 2008
Newcastle v Chelsea, 15:00

Sunday, 11 May 2008
Everton v Newcastle, 15:00

Optimistically, Newcastle would win against Reading, Sunderland and West Ham, and draw against Chelsea, Everton and Portsmouth. That would give them 12 pts.

Realistically, Newcastle will probably lose to Pompey and Chelsea, so at best you’re looking at 10 points.

Tottenham’s remaining games

Saturday, 05 April 2008
Blackburn v Tottenham, 15:00

Saturday, 12 April 2008
Tottenham v Middlesbrough, 15:00

Saturday, 19 April 2008
Wigan v Tottenham, 15:00

Saturday, 26 April 2008
Tottenham v Bolton, 15:00

Saturday, 03 May 2008
Reading v Tottenham, 15:00

Sunday, 11 May 2008
Tottenham v Liverpool, 15:00

Spurs would need to lose their away games and draw their home games if Newcastle want to overtake them – the Bolton and Boro games alone can give Spurs a cushion ahead of Newcastle, and they’ll probably pick up a few points from away draws or wins.

West Ham’s remaining games

Tuesday, 08 April 2008
West Ham v Portsmouth, 19:45

Saturday, 12 April 2008
Bolton v West Ham, 15:00

Saturday, 19 April 2008
West Ham v Derby, 15:00

Saturday, 26 April 2008
West Ham v Newcastle, 15:00

Saturday, 03 May 2008
Man Utd v West Ham, 15:00

Sunday, 11 May 2008
West Ham v Aston Villa, 15:00

West Ham should beat Derby, and at least take a point off Portsmouth, Bolton and Aston Villa. 6 points, and easily clear of the pack.

Conclusion

It’s good to rev up the fans and instill some self-belief in the players but at this point Newcastle seem unlikely to even overtake Tottenham, let alone West Ham. And with Middlesbrough hot on their heels, they’ll need to push as hard as they can to avoid being overtaken.

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17 Comments

  1. Leper Racy 31 March, 2008
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