Newcastle United gave themselves some breathing space in their fight for Premier League survival on Tuesday night. The Magpies defeated Burnley 2-0 at St. James’ Park and Rafael Benitez’s side is now undefeated in five of its last six games. Newcastle have won four of the six fixture and are now 13th in the table, seven points from the drop.
Meanwhile, Burnley continues to play inconsistently. Sean Dyche’s team defeated Tottenham at the weekend only to lose without a fight against Newcastle. The loss ended a five-match unbeaten run for the Turf Moor club. Six points separate Burnley from the relegation zone.
Miguel Almiron looks like a good signing…
Newcastle United shelled out £21 million on midfielder Miguel Almiron in January. He joined after two seasons with Major League Soccer team Atlanta United.
He looked very good in his debut against Burnley playing 80 minutes. It must be remembered, Atlanta were in the offseason, so Almiron is still working his way back to full fitness.
The Paraguayan has received widespread praise for his performance. He completed 88 percent of his passes with 22 of 25 being accurate and making two key passes.
Yet, he still cost Newcastle a whopping £21m. That seems like a hefty fee, but Benitez has got his scouting right before with the likes of Fernando Torres. Unfortunately, he has got it wrong plenty of times too.
Tom Heaton has bad night, still Burnley No. 1
Joe Hart’s season has been so awful that goalkeeper Tom Heaton can play poorly against Newcastle yet keep the No. 1 job next week. Heaton made just two saves on the night while Newcastle managed three shots on goal.
Heaton looked unimpressive on Newcastle’s second strike from Sean Longstaff as he flailed at the ball. No one could have saved Fabian Schar’s opener, so Heaton gets a pass on that goal.
Hart has few options and the ones he does have are drying up quickly. According to one report, Hart could end up in MLS where he would face a lower level of talent on a weekly basis. He would still be afforded a better contract than in the lower leagues of English football.
Hart hasn’t played since Boxing Day when he allowed five Everton goals.
Newcastle United have favourable fixture list
Newcastle have a favourable fixture list to finish out the season. Currently, on 31 points, Newcastle need just three wins to get to the 40-point mark.
Forty points is the often cited figure in which teams are safe from relegation and the Magpies are not far off it.
Just two of Newcastle’s final 10 matches are against top six teams — Arsenal and Liverpool. They will face West Ham, Everton, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Leicester City, Southampton, Brighton, and Fulham to finish out the term.
It is a winnable set of fixtures and Newcastle should be able to preserve their Premier League life for at least another season.