If Newcastle United can defeat both Luton Town and Nottingham Forest over the holiday season, they will have an opportunity to pass both Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.
The Saudi-backed owners really desire to finish in the Champions League slots, as Eddie Howe’s aspirations of winning the Carabao Cup are dead for another year and Europe is now behind them. With a strong Christmas, sixth-place United may strengthen their prospects of winning the Champions League in addition to solidifying their present European spot.
After their challenging home match against Everton today, Spurs will not play again until December 28. Man City won’t play again until December 27.
When asked about picking up maximum points against the Hatters and Forest, Howe told Chronicle Live: Howe said: “It is an opportunity for us.
The next game always is an opportunity to get back to winning ways.
“It’s a chance to inject positivity back into our season.
We have two really tough games, I don’t under-estimate the teams we are playing.
But if we can get positive results then we will be in a really good position.”
After United’s chances of winning were halved by 50% following their crushing defeats to Chelsea and AC Milan, Howe acknowledges that a form of probe has taken place.
“You have to analyse it, and we have,” Howe remarked. Typically, there are multiple contributing factors rather than just one.
“Tuesday [against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup] was one of those moments, defensively generally we were solid and we conceded very few chances but it is something we have to accept and improve.”