Newcastle have not tasted victory since January and are currently mired in a three-match losing skid. The train has not quite derailed as the recent defeats were against some of the country’s top clubs with Newcastle putting up an admirable fight each time.
Next up is Wolves at home; a fixture, while far from easy, could serve as a platform for a down-the-stretch surge should the Magpies get it right. In his his latest Newcastle prediction, Chris Sutton expects that winning feeling to return to Tyneside with a 1-0 victory.
Here is his prediction in full:
Newcastle need to get back on track after five games without a win in all competitions, but they have not scored for 315 minutes now and that lack of bite is their biggest problem.
They created some chances against Manchester City last week, but they really need someone to start putting them away if they are going to stay in the hunt for a top-four place.
I don’t think Eddie Howe’s side are feeling sorry for themselves, because they are still playing well up until the final third. Their fans are proud of their efforts this season and will really get behind them here too, which will help.
Wolves got a great win over Tottenham last week but they are not out of trouble yet. They will make life difficult for Newcastle but I am still going for a home win – albeit a very narrow one.
This outcome would be welcomed with open arms by the Toon Army. It would be the first win since the second leg of the league cup semi-final while also adding another clean sheet to the season tally.
The primary concern as Sutton rightly asserts is the goal drought. Newcastle have not breached an opposition’s defense since the 1-1 draw at Bournemouth almost one month ago. That has to change or the disappointment will continue.
Eddie Howe may once again alter his lineup to try and spark the attack. Last week it was Anthony Gordon in for Saint-Maximin but to no avail. Howe could pull Callum Wilson for Alexander Isak, who has provided sparks off the bench recently.
There is still plenty of time left in the campaign for a second wind. The Wembley final and the difficult recent schedule have compounded frustrations. There is reason to believe the joy can return on Sunday.