Newcastle United’s next five games compared to Champions League rivals Man Utd, Liverpool & others - gallery

The Magpies will have to improve their recent form as they look to thrust themselves back into serious contention for a top four place.

The disappointment of Sunday’s Carabao Cup Final defeat against Manchester United must be swiftly swept aside as Newcastle United look to secure a place in European competition for the first time in a decade.

Not since the days of Hatem Ben Arfa, Demba Ba and Yohan Cabaye have a Magpies side competed in Europe as Alan Pardew’s men made their way to the last eight of the Europa League before dreams of silverware were dashed by Portuguese giants Benfica.

A challenge for Europe is firmly on the agenda for Eddie Howe and the current crop of Magpies stars as they head into the final two months of the season firmly in the race for a top four place, despite an underwhelming run of form since the Premier League returned to action following the break for the World Cup Finals.

Since the Boxing Day win at Leicester City, United have won just one of their last five games and allowed a number of challengers for a Champions League spot to close the gap on them. The likes of Fulham, Liverpool, Brighton and Hove Albion and Brentford now lies within six points of Howe’s men, who find themselves four points shy of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.

With a crucial run of fixtures lying in wait for clubs across the top ten, NewcastleWorld looks ahead to each club’s next five games in the Premier League as the race for a Champions League spot gathers pace.

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