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It all comes down to the final day for Burnley as they go into their last game of the season at home to Newcastle United with their fate in their own hands.

A 1-1 draw with Aston Villa on Thursday night saw Mike Jackson’s side edge out of the relegation zone, and they simply need to match Leeds United’s score on the final day to secure another season of Premier League football.

The battle for Premier League survival is now down to two teams after Everton secured their top-flight status on Thursday night, and of those two teams it is Burnley who enter the final day in the strongest position.

The equation for Jackson’s men is simple: match or better Leeds’ score, and they will enjoy a seventh successive season in the top flight next term. Burnley’s vastly superior goal difference over Leeds means that a win over Newcastle would be enough, regardless of what Jesse Marsch’s side do away to Brentford.

However, there is only goal difference separating the two sides either side of the dreaded dotted line, so any failure by Burnley to win would open the door for Leeds to leapfrog them at the final hurdle.

It is a precarious situation, then, and one that Burnley so nearly avoided during Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Aston Villa, when Ashley Barnes gave them the lead from the spot only for Emiliano Buendia to earn the hosts a point at Villa Park.

Should Burnley end up going down then they will look back on Wout Weghorst’s late missed chance in that match – or more accurately, Tyrone Mings’s remarkable goalline block – as a particularly costly moment.

Burnley’s Wout Weghorst reacts after missing a chance to score on May 19, 2022© Reuters

Nevertheless, the point means that the Clarets crucially still have matters in their own hands with 90 minutes of their season to play – a position they would have no doubt taken when they sacked long-serving boss Sean Dyche with four points separating them from safety.

After 10 points from a possible 12 in his first four games at the helm, the Jackson revival has stalled somewhat with only one point from their next three outings, but even that may be enough should Leeds lose at Brentford.

Among Burnley’s advantages over Leeds on the final day is the fact that they are at home, where the Clarets have won three of their last four games – as many as they had in their previous 26 at Turf Moor.

That home record looks even stronger when compared to Newcastle’s recent away record, which has seen them lose four of their last five games on the road, including shipping five goals against both Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City since the start of April.

However, Burnley have lost their final game of the season every year since they were last promoted to the top flight for the 2016-17 campaign – a five-year losing streak which could prove decisive if it stretches to six on Sunday.

Newcastle United players celebrate after beating Arsenal on May 18, 2022© Reuters

In contrast, Newcastle have won on the final day in six of the last seven seasons, and they come into this match both more rested and in better form than their hosts.

It was not too long ago that this fixture was being touted as a potential final-day relegation decider, with Newcastle sat in the bottom three at Christmas and winning just one of their first 20 games of the campaign – incidentally against Burnley in the reverse of this contest.

The turnaround since then has been remarkable, though, with only Liverpool, Man City and Tottenham having picked up more Premier League points than the Magpies so far this calendar year.

Indeed, Eddie Howe’s men have already won more games in 2022 than they managed in both 2021 and 2020, and a top-half finish remains possible should they win, Brighton & Hove Albion lose and Brentford fail to win on the final day.

That would provide a solid base to build off looking ahead to next season, and Monday night’s 2-0 win over Champions League-chasing Arsenal will have only raised hope that the newly-wealthy Magpies could push for Europe themselves in 2022-23.

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