Newcastle United: Challenging for Europe?
As the Premier League season heads into the stretch run in the spring, Newcastle United started the season with new ambitions and the deep pockets to make them happen.
After former Magpies owner Mike Ashley sold the club to an investment group led by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, the Magpies made a splash in the January 2022 transfer window. They spent $112 million on transfers to prevent the team from being relegated from the Premier League.
Newcastle has been on pace to secure a spot in the Champions League until the last couple of months, where they have hit some stumbles. Can the Magpies challenge a place in Europe? Read on to find out.
Struggling to Find Peak Form Again
Newcastle United currently sits sixth in the Premier League after this weekend’s matches. If the season ended today, they would qualify for the Europa League. Appearing in the Europa League would benefit the club tremendously but would fall short of the goals that their new ownership group has set for the club.
Their form in the Premier League as of late has been poor. The Magpies haven’t won a match since January 15th. They have also dropped games to rivals who are close to them in the standings. They’ve also scored only two goals in the last five Premier League games.
One goal of the new ownership group has been to end the club’s trophy drought. They haven’t won a domestic trophy since 1955. That opportunity existed this season in the Carabao Cup, but after losing to Manchester United in the final last week, the Magpies’ trophy dreams will continue to go unfulfilled.
Rest of The Season: A Mild Road to the End of the Season
Thankfully a few things favor Newcastle United the rest of the way. One is European qualifying rules. The second is their Premier League schedule the rest of the way.
Manchester United sits third in the Premier League table. With their win in the Carabao Cup, if they hold their spot in the table, they’ll qualify for Europe through their Premier League finish. That would leave two Europa League spots (one for the League, one for the Conference League) open for the sixth and seventh-place finisher in the Premier League. If they don’t finish in the top four, they’ll have a great opportunity at getting into at least SOME form of European football.
The other good news for Newcastle’s chase to land a spot in Europe is that their remaining schedule is pretty soft. There are no “easy” matches in the Premier League, but out of their thirteen remaining games, only four matches are against the top-six Premier League teams.
If the club can find some form down the stretch against teams they’re supposed to beat, the Magpies will be lucky enough to host some European nights next season and try to end their trophy drought.
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