Newcastle Vs Middlesbrough (Monday)
Probably the biggest game of them all when the teams occupying the final two relegation places do battle at St James Park.
Newcastle’s tenure under Alan Shearer was never destined to yield many points in the first five games. Three losses to in form Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs have left the Magpies in yet more trouble but even the former England striker could have seen those three results coming.
The games that have really caused the Shearer sleepless nights have been Stoke away and Portsmouth at home. Granted Stoke have a strong record, conceding only 15 and losing just four. But given the run of games that Newcastle have that was an opportunity missed to gain 3 points. Last week’s stalemate with Pompey will have done little to lift the mood at St James Park, Newcastle have only scored once in five games and only gained two points in the process.
It’s not exactly been luxury for the visitors either, a meagre two wins in ten games has seen ‘Boro looking like relegation fodder. The confidence bred by the recent home win against relegation rivals hull was soon blown away by defeats to Man United and Arsenal. This Tyne-Tees derby has been targeted by Southgate as a must win and no wonder, their last two games are against Villa and West Ham.