Newcastle United v Middlesbrough preview

by Chris

Monday, May 11th, 2009
 

Winner takes all

When Mike Dean blows for the final whistle tonight, one set of fans will have to face the ultimate realisation that their club will almost certainly be playing in The Championship next season.

With West Bromwich Albion impressively defeating Wigan 3-1 on Saturday, the pressure is on for Newcastle and Middlesbrough to walk away victorious.

The good old cliché of a ‘six pointer’ could not be more perfectly used when previewing this match. The supporters will be expecting both sides to be going all-out for the victory, as a point each would be about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

The North East rivals have both racked up 31 points so far in this campaign, with Newcastle topping Middlesbrough on goal difference.

Assessing the current form fails to lead to an accurate prediction for this vital match. Middlesbrough have been unsuccessful in gaining a single point in their last ten Premier League away games, whereas Newcastle have not picked up maximum points at St James’ Park since their 2-1 victory over Tottenham in late December.

Middlesbrough have hit the back of the net just 25 times this season, which is fewer than any other Premier League side. But with Newcastle’s defence, Middlesbrough have a better chance than ever to score goals. The Toon though, have not exactly been scoring for fun recently, notching up just one goal in their last five outings.

Many pundits will be predicting a bore draw for this clash, and you could not blame them after recent results between the sides.

The Tyne-Tees derby has been somewhat disappointing in previous years, with each side tending to cancel each other out. Their previous meeting at The Riverside this season resulted in a 0-0 draw, and the last time Boro visited St James’ Park it finished 1-1.

However, the draw specialists cannot afford to settle for a point each, which predicts the match to be one of the best Tyne-Tees derbies for a long time. On paper, it does not look set to be a Premiership classic, but with two sets of vulnerable defences, an electric atmosphere and everything at stake, we might just be surprised.

Newcastle might just edge it tonight, with their fans getting behind them and with a bit of lady luck, I expect The Toon to win narrowly.

Prediction: Newcastle United 2-1 Middlesbrough

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  • Stevie

    Hull City are gone, they won’t get another point. Bolton away, Man Utd home.

    Winner stays up tonight!

  • Martin Tibbetts

    As a Leicester fan, I can speak from experience when I say that relegation could be the best thing that could happen to either of these clubs. They have been struggling for a while now, and as with us, a season down a division (or in our case 2 divisions) could be the tonic they need – clear out the deadwood, get a winning mentality back and some team spirit. It will not be a disaster for them as parachute payments will help them out and I fully expect either of them to bounce back again straight away (finishing narrowly behind the Foxes).

  • Tef1on

    I hope Borough win it, Can’t wait to see Newcastle in the Championship

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