Around this time of the season, there’s usually talk of teams reaching the magic 40 point mark to ensure Premier League safety for another season. However, considering fourth-bottom team Sunderland sit on 27 points with eight matches remaining, the required total is going to be far lower this term.
That will come as a welcome relief to many of the teams down there, including Newcastle United who haven’t won a game for three months but are still four points clear of the drop zone. Victory against Fulham on Saturday and they can essentially start planning for next season’s campaign in the top flight, although Sporting Life reports that Kevin Keegan is still taking nothing for granted.
He said: “You know me, but you have got to understand there are times when you need to be cavalier, and there are times when you cannot afford to be in this division.
“Even last time (he was Newcastle manager), despite what people say, we still went away and got drab 0-0 draws – not many, I think one, but we did get them, and a couple of 1-1s where we shut shop up. We could do that.”
The Toon Army must have been heartened by their team’s 1-1 draw at St Andrews, especially a second-half performance which could have seen them win the match. Can the Magpies rise to the occasion against the Cottagers and put their opponents firmly in the relegation mire?