Newcastle United’s projected points total - enough for Champions League or Europa League spot?

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Is Newcastle United’s European dream on? Well, history tells you YES!

With the new Premier League season just 13 games old and a World Cup break to come, we can perhaps understand Eddie Howe’s reasons for playing down talk of European qualification. But based on Newcastle United’s start to the campaign, there’s no denying it’s a realistic possibility.

Without even talking about the current points on the board, the Magpies have already given Premier League champions Manchester City a scare, rattled Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool, frustrated Manchester United and bossed Tottenham Hotspur in their backyard - all whilst coping without some important players.

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United have scored goals for fun against Fulham, Brentford and most recently Aston Villa but also showed their ability to grind out results and subsequently boast the best defensive record in England’s top-flight. A remarkable achievement indeed, when you consider the fragile state of the club 12 months or so ago.

All that, largely down to Howe’s meticulous work, has formed a perhaps unimaginable start to this season, where Howe’s side currently sit in the Champions League spots and could feasibly stay there during the Qatar World Cup break if results against Southampton and Chelsea go to plan.

United have picked up 24 points from their opening 13 matches and if that current projection continues, the 70-point mark will be reached. What could that mean, you ask?

NewcastleWorld has crunched the numbers from the previous 11 Premier League seasons and worked out the average points total required to secure either a top four, top six or top seven finish. And it’s safe to say, Newcastle are on course to end their 10-year absence from European competitions.

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Champions League dream on?

Could Champions League nights be returning to St James’ Park?Could Champions League nights be returning to St James’ Park?
Could Champions League nights be returning to St James’ Park? | Getty Images

Newcastle, in the eyes of City boss Pep Guardiola, are contenders to finish in the top four and of course, their current position backs that up. However, given the club was bottom of the Premier League this time last year, it feels hard to fathom that United will remain in fourth spot come the end of the season.

The average total needed to seal a top four finish over the last decade has been 71 points, meaning United would narrowly miss out on that logic. That said, 70 points has been enough for Champions League qualification in two of the last three seasons, and five of the last 11.

In 2020/21 Chelsea finished fourth with 67 points. A year earlier, they achieved the same finish but with a point less. You have to go back four seasons from then (2015/16 ) when 70 points or below was enough for the top four when Man City qualified with 66 points. In 2014/15, Man United finished fourth with 70 points.

What about the Europa League?

If Newcastle reach 70 points then it will absolutely guarantee a top six finish - and Europa League qualification. The average points total required over the last decade is 64 - the lowest being 58 points, which was Man United’s tally last season, and the highest being 69 points (Man U in 16/17 and Tottenham in 13/14).

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For context, the Magpies’ last campaign in Europe in 2012/13 came through finishing fifth on 65 points. After 13 games, Alan Pardew’s side were two points better off (26) than the current crop, with both having just one defeat to their name.

The newly-formed Europa Conference League

If results do dip then Newcastle have the Europa Conference League to fall back on, which certainly won’t be frowned upon, if Howe’s men drop to seventh. Again, 59 points, on average, is enough for seventh. West Ham qualified last season with 56 points and Spurs a year earlier with 62.

Six points from Southampton and Chelsea - or even four points - before the season pauses will put United halfway to a top seven finish, something Newcastle fans would have dreamed of in August, even if expectations are gradually rising because of the incredible run Howe and his players are on.

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