Newcastle United can inflict incredible four-point blow on Tottenham Hotspur ahead of Arsenal derby

Newcastle United can pile the pressure on Tottenham Hotspur before they next kick a ball.

The idea of Newcastle United finishing fifth in the Premier League table feels like lunacy but a deeper look at the remaining fixtures suggests it is a possibility, albeit a slim one.

Newcastle’s outstanding 4-0 victory over Champions League chasing Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday lifted them to sixth in the standings, and that’s where they ended the weekend after Manchester United and West Ham United failed to their respective matches against AFC Bournemouth and Fulham.

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With six games remaining, the hope of United qualifying for Europe for the second consecutive year has never been higher. Eddie Howe’s men are unbeaten since the March international break, winning three and drawing one. Indeed, momentum is building.

And if that vein of form can carry on - injuries depending - then the thought of leapfrogging fifth place Tottenham won’t seem as daft. With the way the fixtures fall, Newcastle have a massive opportunity to pile the pressure on.

Ten points is the gap currently, but before Spurs next kick a ball against Arsenal, it could be cut to four IF United were to beat Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park and take care of relegation-threatened Sheffield United at St James’ Park three days later.

Ange Postecoglou’s side would then not only head into the North London derby seeking bragging rights but points to stifle Newcastle and keep close to Aston Villa.

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Howe’s men face a slightly favourable run in on paper, facing Burnley, Brighton and Hove Albion, Manchester United and Brentford compared to Spurs, who after the Gunners take on Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City, as well as Burnley and Sheffield United.

With 18 points to play for, it would required an astonishing run for Newcastle and a monumental mess up by Spurs. Again, it’s unlikely but the fact we’re having this conversation is credit to Howe, players and staff for the change of feel in the season.

There were plenty looking forward to the season ending not too long ago, this writer included, but an exciting end has certainly been teed up. And who knows what Newcastle, who have battled adversity all term, can achieve.

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