Plenty would’ve expected Newcastle United to have had the Championship title pretty much wrapped up by now. Not quite in Celtic fashion, but we thought they’d be a dominant force in the division.
Even more so after beating rivals Brighton & Hove Albion two weeks ago and following that up with a win away at promotion-chasing Huddersfield Town.
But since then, the Magpies have stuttered, picking up just one point from their last two outings.
Brighton have won their last two games, forcing themselves level on points with the league leaders, and Huddersfield have fought hard to earn back-to-back 1-0 victories against Aston Villa and Brentford respectively.
That puts the Terriers just six points off the top two with a game in hand on both, meaning they’re now well in contention for an automatic spot.
Don’t rule our David Wagner’s men though at 14/1. They’ve been a tough nut to crack all season and are grinding out results on a regular basis as we approach the business end of the campaign.
Jurgen Klopp’s best mate has also been gifted a relatively generous quintet of upcoming fixtures between now and Good Friday, with three home clashes against Burton Albion, managerless Norwich City and Preston North End, while they’ll face Bristol City and Nottingham Forest on their travels.
The way things have been going so far this season, one wouldn’t be too surprised to see the Terriers come out of that run of games unscathed and still in the title race.
Newcastle, meanwhile, will have to face fellow promotion hopefuls Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United in that time, and could continue to drop up points in the coming weeks.
At the same time, Chris Hughton’s Brighton side will also face Garry Monk’s Leeds in one of three away fixtures between now and Good Friday, while they’ll also visit the homes of both Queens Park Rangers and Wolverhampton Wanderers, as well as welcoming both Blackburn Rovers and Birmingham City to the Amex Stadium.
At face value, you’d say the Terriers have an easier run of fixtures which should see them close the gap between themselves and the two sides currently ahead of them in the table.
Were they to close it substantially, that game in hand they currently have over their opponents could be crucial to the final outcome of the Championship table.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing