Newcastle United have been backed to secure survival in the Premier League for another season in a nervy campaign, but Steve Bruce’s maiden term at St. James’ Park is set to go down to the wire.
That’s according to Premier League data experts FiveThirtyEight, via the Shields Gazette, who have predicted what the final table will look like come next May.
They claim Liverpool will end the term as champions six points clear of Manchester City, while Leicester and Chelsea round out the Champions League places.
Tottenham Hotspur are backed to take the sole-automatic Europa League spot ahead of Manchester United and Arsenal, who will see their campaign head to the final day as Wolverhampton Wanderers challenge for seventh.
Crystal Palace, Sheffield United, Everton, Burnley, Bournemouth, Brighton, West Ham and Aston Villa have all been tipped to end the term in mid-table, with the Villans holding a one-point advantage over us in 17th.
Do we currently have enough in the squad for survival?
Our gap to the relegation places has likewise come out small, with FiveThirtyEight suggesting 18th-placed Southampton will return to the Championship having put 40 points on the board – one fewer than our predicted total of 41.
Watford, who reached the FA Cup Final last season, have been backed to go down with Southampton, while last term’s Championship title-winners Norwich City are expected to fall out of the top-flight at the first time of asking.
In other Newcastle United news, the club are reportedly moving to sign a record-breaking wonderkid appearing on a dominant European giants’ radar.