Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle side are just four points above the relegation zone right now, and as usual it is going to be a dogfight right until the end of the season with just 5 points separating 13th and 19th in the table at the moment, with just 8 games to go.
So why are Newcastle happy? Well it is now looking certain that Arsenal have very little chance of overtaking Chelsea and Tottenham to get into the Top Four, having to try and make up 13 points in the remaining games, so our only hope of a trophy and a back-door entry into the Champions League is by winning the Europa League.
After beating AC Milan we must believe we have a chance of going all the way, but first of all we have to get past CSKA Moscow with the first leg at the Emirates on the 5th April. If we don’t get a massive result in the home leg we then have to travel to Moscow to try and make certain of getting to the semi-finals. That involves making a 3,600 mile round trip to the Russian capital to play on the 12th of April in subzero temperatures. We are more than likely to have to field a full strength side in Moscow, so when we face Newcastle just three days later we are either going to have some rotation and field a weakened side, or put out a full strength side that has just got back from Moscow!
Either way the Magpies are going to have more chance of getting three massive points for their season….