Revealed! The NINE Premier League fixtures that could define Newcastle United and Fulham's relegation fate
Newcastle United have nine games to save their Premier League status and avoid a third relegation under Mike Ashley.
Once the international break is over, Steve Bruce’s side face a relentless, high pressure and at times daunting fixture schedule in their battle to beat the drop.
Somehow, after just two wins in 18 league games, the Magpies remain in control of their own fate hands but Fulham to their credit, are showing to be no pushovers.
Here, we take a look at the NINE games from across the top-flight that could define how the final relegation picture:
Southampton vs Burnley – Saturday, April 3 (kick-off 12pm)
It’s simple, a victory for either of those two pretty much guarantees survival. Then, Bruce will definitely have to re-think his “six or seven teams looking over their shoulders” comments.
Both teams have the same number of points in the league table – a win will take one of them onto a healthy 36 points ahead of the final eight matches.
Burnley, as ever, are proving hard to beat while Southampton are desperate to stop the rut of one win in 12 games.
Newcastle United vs Tottenham Hotspur – Sunday, April 4 (kick-off 2:05pm)
Touch wood… the visit of Jose Mourinho’s side to St James’s Park will be greeted by the return of Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin.
After such a damaging defeat against Brighton and Hove Albion, it is imperative Steve Bruce and his players come out fighting and show they’ve some fight about them.
Spurs, on paper, might be one of those games Bruce ‘writes off’ as he tends to do against the ‘big six’ but Spurs are very hit and missy. They can beaten.
Newcastle play before Fulham, who kick-off away to Aston Villa a few hours later. A big opportunity to put the pressure on.
Fulham vs Wolverhampton Wanderers – Friday, April 9 (kick-off: 8pm)
Scott Parker’s side open up what could be a defining weekend at home to Wolves – a game they will almost certainly target as winnable.
Nuno Espirito Santo's side don’t have too much left to play for and aren’t in the best of form either with just three league wins to their name this year.
Could there be a hint of fatigue? Wolves’ trip to Craven Cottage comes just a few days after their Monday meeting with West Ham United.
Burnley vs Newcastle United – Sunday, April 11 (kick-off: 12pm)
Just under two days later, the Magpies travel to Burnley, which could turn into a relegation six-pointer depending on how the games above go.
There are no two ways about it though, Bruce’s will need three points and with respect, should be going to Turf Moor well capable of doing so.
United’s fixture list after facing Sean Dyche’s side is brutal with West Ham, Liverpool, Arsenal, Leicester City and Manchester City to play consecutively.
Fulham vs Burnley – Saturday, May 8 (kick-off: 3pm)* subject to TV pick
On the same weekend Newcastle face Champions League-chasing Leicester City away from home, Fulham welcome Burnley.
If Parker’s side want to stay in the division then they need to eradicate their awful home form of just two wins this season.
Fulham will see this as very winnable against a Dyche team that hold the fourth-worst away record in the league.
Southampton vs Fulham – Wednesday, May 11 (kick-off 7:45pm)* subject to TV pick
While Newcastle’s nasty run of fixtures comes to and at home to Manchester City that night, Fulham are again presented with a favourable opponent.
The West Londoners much prefer playing away from Craven Cottage with 16 of their 26 points so far coming on the road.
Southampton, meanwhile, on current form could be slipping towards danger themselves – they’re bottom of the 2021 table with just four points.
Newcastle United vs Sheffield United – Saturday, May 15 (kick-off: 3pm)* subject to TV pick
There can no excuses from Newcastle here. Not one. Sheffield United will more than likely be officially relegated by the time they visit St James’s Park.
Yes, the pressure might be off for the Blades. Yes, they might be in better form. Yes, they might well have a new manager but failure to win could seal the Magpies’ fate.
Asides from being the worst team in the division, Paul Heckingbottom’s men also have the worst away record too. Losing home and away to the basement boys is unthinkable.
Interestingly, spectators could be present if the Premier League decide to move the penultimate fixtures to ensure all clubs get the opportunity to host one home game in front of their supporters.
Depending on Newcastle or Bruce’s position, the Geordie-faithful in attendance might not be so accommodating.
Manchester United vs Fulham – Saturday, May 15 (kick-off: 3pm)* subject to TV pick
It’s worth noting that Fulham are away to Manchester United on the penultimate day of the season.
Now… onto the final day showdown at Craven Cottage.
Fulham vs Newcastle – Sunday, May 23 (kick-off: 4pm)
Everything is pointing towards this being a winner-takes-all affair, as it has been for a few months now.
How’s your bottle? That’s what it will come down to. Even thinking about it now, the pressure is unbearable. Form – if there is any – will go out the window. It’s 90 minutes to decide your fate.
Can the drama can be avoided and Bruce’s side retain their Premier League status before the journey to West London?
That way, we can all enjoy a summer day next to the River Thames.
That, however, is a pipe dream right now.