Newcastle United's English goalkeeper Karl Darlow (R) saves a chance from West Bromwich Albion's English-born Scottish midfielder Matt Phillips during the English FA Cup fifth round football match between West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, central England, on March 3, 2020. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

How the FA Cup could have a major say in the relegation run in of Newcastle United, Aston Villa & more

An FA Cup win or Premier League safety? If you could choose only one for Newcastle United this season, which would it be?

It’s a question that’s sparked debate aplenty among the Magpies faithful online.

Being outside the Premier League is like a footballing wilderness – Newcastle know this too well under Mike Ashley. But would it really be so hard to stomach, if we got what we crave so much – a United captain lifting some meaningful silverware for the first time in 51 years, or domestic for 65?

The debate will no doubt rumble on, even after Steve Bruce’s men were handed perhaps the toughest draw possible in the last eight, albeit at home against the head and shoulders best side left in the competition, Manchester City. That game will take place at St James’s Park on the weekend of March 21.

Competition progress has fans dreaming, but what impact has the FA Cup run had on United – who sit five points above the bottom three – and possible involvement in a relegation fight? And what impact has it had on the other teams fighting for their lives in the top flight?

Here’s a look at the direct, and indirect impact, a possible fixture pile-up will have on every team in the bottom seven of the Premier League – Norwich City, Aston Villa, AFC Bournemouth, Watford, West Ham United, Brighton & Hove Albion and Newcastle United.

The debate will no doubt rumble on, even after Steve Bruce’s men were handed perhaps the toughest draw possible in the last eight, albeit at home against the head and shoulders best side left in the competition, Manchester City. That game will take place at St James’s Park on the weekend of March 21.

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