Despite winning just one of their opening 20 league games and being bottom of the table and six points adrift from safety at one stage, Eddie Howe’s side are now 14 points clear of the relegation zone sitting in ninth place with four games remaining.
Although safety is not mathematically secured just yet, The Magpies can achieve that this weekend should they pick up a shock result against title-chasing Liverpool at St James’s Park (12:30pm kick-off).
How can Newcastle mathematically secure safety this weekend?
If Newcastle are able to better 17th placed Burnley’s result at Watford on Saturday (3pm kick-off), then they will be mathematically safe with three games remaining.
So a draw against Liverpool and a win for Watford would see Newcastle’s place in the Premier League officially confirmed for next season.
An unlikely win against the quadruple chasers would guarantee safety unless Burnley beat Watford AND Everton beat Chelsea at Goodison Park on Sunday (2pm kick-off).
It’s a big ask either way. But with Newcastle actually closer to the European places in the Premier League than they are the relegation zone – is it still possible for them to get into Europe this season?
How can Newcastle qualify for Europe this season?
It’s ridiculous that this is still even a possibility with four games remaining but it’s a testament to the turnaround Howe’s side have made in 2022.
While it is incredibly unlikely that Newcastle will finish in a top seven place required to secure European football, there are a certain set of results that could see them claim a spot in next season’s Europa Conference League or Europa League.
Newcastle sit ninth on 43 points with four games remaining. West Ham United are seventh on 52 points while Manchester United are sixth on 54 points.
The highest Newcastle side can still finish this season is sixth, which would be good enough for a Europa League spot.
To do that, The Magpies would have to win all four of their remaining matches against Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and Burnley and hope that Manchester United fail to pick up another point in their final four games. West Ham would also have to fail to win any of their remaining games while Wolverhampton Wanderers would have to pick up fewer than six points.
It’s technically possible, but it’s safe to say it won’t happen.
Finishing seventh is slightly more achievable, though still very unlikely.
It would require Howe’s side picking up the 10 points needed to overtake West Ham in their incredibly difficult final four games. They would also be reliant on the Hammers experiencing a winless end to the campaign and Wolves also struggling.
The success of English clubs in Europe this season could result in as many as nine Premier League sides competing in Europe next season should West Ham and Leicester City win their respective competitions and finish outside of the top seven.
It may sound absurd, but no Premier League side has ever stayed up after failing to win their opening 14 games. Yet after doing just that, Newcastle are now more likely to qualify for Europe than get relegated this season.