Gary Neville in agreement with Michael Owen over Newcastle United’s Champions League hopes

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Two pundits have been discussing Newcastle United’s top four hopes amid a battle with Manchester United and Tottenham.

Michael Owen and Gary Neville have been discussing Newcastle United’s top four hopes as the final run-in comes into view.

The Magpies are sitting in a solid position as they look to secure a Champions League spot this season. Eddie Howe’s men are in third place, three points ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham and with a game in hand, but plenty of twists and turns lie ahead, with Newcastle still having nine games remaining this season.

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Tottenham and Manchester United both have experience of fighting for European football, and that could help them deal with the pressure that will only increase with every game from here on out. But Newcastle have defied the odds throughout this season, and former striker Owen believes they are well on course to secure a Champions League spot.

Asked if he thinks the Magpies will finish in the top four, Owen told AceOdds “Oh yeah, I do. I mean, they’ve got a decent sized squad. It’s not like they’re in European competition. They’re not in any of the cups now. They’re fully focused just on the Premier League.

“So very soon, it’s basically going to be one game a week. You’re not going to have to rotate and rest and things like that. There’s only nine or ten games to go of the season. And there’s still eight weeks to go or something.

“So it’s not a crowded schedule for them. They’re definitely going to have the freshness to keep going. And they’ve got the ability, they’ve got the players, they’ve got the fan base, they’ve got the manager, it feels like there’s something special brewing up there. So they’ve definitely got the means to qualify in the top four. In fact, I think they will be in the top four by the end of the season. They had a little wobble, but did you see the fixtures around that time? I mean, they were playing a lot of really tough games. Now I’d be very positive towards Newcastle.”

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Sky Sports pundit Neville is in agreement with Owen, adding: “What a week for Newcastle. To beat Manchester United, West Ham away and then Brentford away, that’s a tough week and to get nine points – that’s a brilliant performance.

Howe’s men have rediscovered their good form Howe’s men have rediscovered their good form
Howe’s men have rediscovered their good form | Getty Images

"I didn’t have them down as top-four probably three weeks ago and even after the United game, I thought 'well they’ve got three tough away games now in West Ham, Brentford and Aston Villa.' You’ll probably drop points in that and it will give Tottenham and Liverpool maybe a chance.

"But looking at them now, watching them closely against Manchester United - where I thought they were absolutely brilliant - I think they will finish in the top-four now because their confidence will be so high. I thought Man Utd were really poor against Newcastle. But what we’ve seen with this side under Erik ten Hag is that they do respond and they do bounce back.

"They were dominant against Everton but beating Brentford was really important. Six points from that week doesn’t look so bad now. They do respond and come back which will mean they do finish in those Champions League places. With Tottenham, they were pretty fortunate against Brighton. But it gives them a chance, they’re still in it."

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