Newcastle United handed European boost as Manchester United face Premier League difficulty

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images) | Getty Images
The race for European qualification in the Premier League is set to go down to the wire.

After securing Champions League qualification last season, Newcastle United are again in the hunt for European football with a place in the Europa League or Europa Conference League up for grabs.

But getting over the line will be no easy task with other teams also in the hunt. Here, NewcastleWorld takes a closer look at the race for Europe and each club’s remaining top-flight fixtures:

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The state of play

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images) | Getty Images

As it stands, Newcastle United currently sit 7th in Premier League table, one place outside the European qualification spots. However, 7th will become an entry into Europe if Manchester City win the FA Cup, or Manchester United do and finish inside the top seven.

The Magpies haven’t given up hope of finishing 6th - or perhaps even 5th (although very optimistic) - yet but a 7th place finish, and a first-ever Conference League appearance, would be widely regarded on Tyneside as a successful season.

While West Ham United’s bid looks to have faltered in recent weeks, Chelsea could indeed be the team to watch after Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Champions League-bound Aston Villa.

That said, it is all in Newcastle’s hands, and if Eddie Howe’s men win their remaining four fixtures, 6th position would be theirs with Man United to play at Old Trafford on Wednesday, May 15.

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How the Premier League looks currently

5th: Tottenham Hotspur - 60 points, five games left to play. Maximum points total: 75.

6th: Manchester United - 54 points, four games left to play. Maximum points total: 66.

7th: Newcastle United - 53 points, four games left to play. Maximum points total: 65.

8th: West Ham United - 49 points, three games left to play, Maximum points total: 58.

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9th: Chelsea - 49 points, five games left to play. Maximum points total: 64 points.

Each club’s remaining Premier League fixtures

On paper, Newcastle United have the easiest run-in, while Man United have the hardest.

5th: Tottenham Hotspur

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Chelsea (A) 02/05, Liverpool (A) 05/05, Burnley (H) 11/05, Manchester City (H) 14/05, Sheffield United (A) 19/05.

Average league position of remaining opponents: 10.6.

6th: Manchester United

Manchester United and Burnley drew 1-1 at Old Trafford on SaturdayManchester United and Burnley drew 1-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday
Manchester United and Burnley drew 1-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday | Manchester United via Getty Imag

Crystal Palace (A) 06/05, Arsenal (H) 12/05, Newcastle United (H) 15/05, Brighton (A) 19/05.

Average league position of remaining opponents: 8.5.

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7th: Newcastle United

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Burnley (A) 04/05, Brighton (H) 11/05, Manchester United (A) 15/05, Brentford (A) 19/05.

Average league position of remaining opponents: 13.25.

8th: West Ham United

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Chelsea (A) 04/05, Luton Town (H) 11/05, Manchester City (A) 19/05.

Average league position of remaining opponent: 9.6

9th: Chelsea

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Tottenham (H) 02/05, West Ham (H), 05/05, Nottingham Forest (A) 11/05, Brighton (A) 15/05, Bournemouth 19/05.

Average league position of remaining opponent: 10.4

What about Bournemouth, Wolves and Brighton?

While AFC Bournemouth, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Brighton could still mathematically finish above Newcastle, it remains extremely unlikely.

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United need just four points from their remaining four matches to finish above the Cherries. They need just two points to stay ahead of Wolves and three points to finish above Brighton.

Howe’s men’s 5-1 win over Sheffield United on Saturday guaranteed a top 12 finish.

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