NEWCASTLE UNITED climbed to sixth place in the Premier League as they thrashed Tottenham on Saturday lunchtime, with Manchester United and West Ham’s subsequent failure to win meaning they ended the weekend in the top six.

That would almost certainly be good enough to secure qualification for the Europa League, and depending on how many Champions League places go to English clubs and who wins the FA Cup final, an eighth-place finish could be sufficient to claim a place in next season’s Conference League.

With six games remaining, the Magpies look well-placed to secure continental competition for a second year in row – but who are those six matches against, and what challenges will Eddie Howe and his players have to negotiate in the final month of the campaign?

Wednesday, April 24


Newcastle do not have a game this weekend as Manchester United’s involvement in the FA Cup semi-finals means their trip to Old Trafford has been moved.

So, after an 11-day break that should provide an opportunity to rest, recuperate and potentially get some injured players back into full training, the Magpies will return to action a week on Wednesday when they head to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace.

Oliver Glasner’s side have precious little to play for given that they moved eight points clear of the drop zone when they won at the weekend, but the fact that that victory came at Anfield underlines the extent to which they will continue to pose a threat.

Newcastle were emphatic 4-0 winners over Palace on Tyneside in October, but the return game in south London is unlikely to be anything like as straightforward. The return of any of Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier or Callum Wilson would be a major boost.

Saturday, April 27


On paper, a home game against Sheffield United is as inviting a Premier League fixture as you could hope to get. Newcastle will certainly start as strong favourites against the Blades, having hammered them 8-0 at Bramall Lane back in September.

The Northern Echo: Anthony Gordon celebrates after scoring at Bramall LaneAnthony Gordon celebrates after scoring at Bramall Lane (Image: PA)

Sheffield United are currently ten points adrift of safety, so depending on results between now and the end of the month, there is a chance the Blades could be visiting Tyneside needing to win or claim a point to have any chance of remaining in the top-flight.

Chris Wilder’s side have only claimed one away win in the league all season – February’s 3-1 victory over Luton at Kenilworth Road – and should not pose too much of a threat to Newcastle’s European hopes.

Saturday, May 4


It’s back-to-back games against relegation strugglers for Newcastle as after hosting Sheffield United, they head to Turf Moor to take on a Burnley side who also look destined to be playing in the Championship next season.

Burnley are currently six points adrift of safety, so like the Blades, they could well find themselves lining up against Newcastle needing to take at least something to keep their survival hopes alive.

That should lead to a lively atmosphere, and will draw inevitable parallels to two seasons ago, when Newcastle’s win at Turf Moor on the final day of the season confirmed the Clarets’ relegation.

Vincent Kompany’s side have struggled all term, although they have belatedly shown at least some signs of life, losing just one of their last six matches.

Saturday, May 11


Newcastle’s final home game of the season pits them against Brighton, and will be a Saturday 3pm kick-off as it does not feature on Sky or TNT Sports’ pick of selections for that weekend.

Brighton have wobbled a bit in recent weeks, but there is still a chance that their visit to Tyneside could be something of a shootout for a European place.

Having drawn with Burnley at the weekend, Roberto de Zerbi’s Seagulls side are currently six points behind Newcastle, having played the same number of games.

It would be a surprise if they had made up that gap by the time they head to Tyneside, and given that they still have to face Manchester City, Aston Villa, Chelsea and Manchester United this season, Brighton will almost certainly have to get a positive result at St James’ to keep their fading European hopes alive.

Wednesday, May 15


The Magpies’ penultimate fixture should be a cracker as the trip to Old Trafford has been rearranged for the final midweek of the season. A lot could still happen between now and then, but there is a chance the game could be a head-to-head clash for sixth position.

The two clubs are currently level on points in the table – Newcastle boast a better goal difference – with both having six more games to play.

Newcastle’s fixture list is the slightly more appealing though, as before hosting the Magpies, Manchester United also have to negotiate a home game against title-chasing Arsenal.

The Northern Echo: Miguel Almiron scores in Newcastle's Carabao Cup win at Old Trafford in NovemberMiguel Almiron scores in Newcastle's Carabao Cup win at Old Trafford in November (Image: PA)

Newcastle will be hoping for a repeat of November’s Carabao Cup game, when goals from Miguel Almiron, Lewis Hall and Joe Willock secured a 3-0 win at Old Trafford.

Sunday, May 19


Newcastle will round off their season with a trip to Brentford’s Gtech Community Stadium, a ground that seen them claim all three points on their last two visits.

Thomas Frank’s side have had a somewhat disappointing campaign, but Saturday’s win over Sheffield United lifted them seven points clear of the bottom three and means they should almost certainly be free of danger by the time they line up on the final day.

That might mean next month’s game has an end-of-season feel to it, although given their good recent record against the Bees, Newcastle will fancy their chances if they need to get a positive result to confirm European qualification.