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Newcastle United Facing Hard Relegation Battle

Wins have been hard to come by for Newcastle United in 2011 and they are staring firmly in the face of a Premier League relegation battle.

Only a few weeks ago things looked rosier for Alan Pardew's side and there was even talk of a Europa League place, but a disastrous run of form sees them now sitting only four points above the relegation places.

Newcastle United have won only one of their last ten matches, with five of those games being draws, and their 4-0 capitulation against Stoke City on Saturday showed that form is low around St James Park. They are 14/1 with bookmakers to lose their battle against relegation.

Making a home ground a fortress is usually the first objective for any side looking to cement their Premier League status, but winning at St James' Park has been something Newcastle United have struggled with all season.

They have lost (5) more games that they have won (4) in front of their home fans and they have dropped points at home to the likes of Blackpool, Blackburn and Wigan – all sides that join them entrenched in a battle for survival.

It could concern fans that the majority of Newcastle United's remaining games are against sides they are battling with in the lower half of the table. With the table being so tight that 11th placed Magpies and rock-bottom Wigan are separated by only six points, then Pardew's side cannot afford to drop points against teams around them.

Newcastle (1/1 to beat Wolves) face Wolves, Aston Villa and Blackpool in their next three games and will be looking to get at least six points from those three matches. But with Wolves (29/10 to beat Newcastle) firing on all cylinders in recent weeks and Blackpool quite a force at Bloomfield Road then black-and-white fans cannot take much for granted against those two.

Home games against strugglers Birmingham (7/4 to go down) and West Brom (13/8 to be relegated) come May could remain vitally important to Newcastle's hopes of avoiding the drop. It is looking like the old 40-point barrier is not going to be enough this season and it could be a record total that gets teams relegated come May 22nd.

There is a good backbone of experienced Premier League campaigners in Newcastle's squad and Pardew needs to be able to trust in the likes of Steve Harper, Sol Campbell, Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan to lead the team in this pressure situation.

Goals have been hard to come by since the sale of Andy Carroll back in January and Newcastle are now looking a shadow of the team they were when they peaked in the 5-1 demolition of Sunderland at the end of October.

As with any side experiencing their first season back in the Premier League after being promoted, finishing 17th should be Newcastle United and Alan Pardew's main aspirations for the season. (Pardew 12/1 to be the next top flight manager to lose his job.

You need to ask yourself are there three teams in the Premier League worse than Newcastle United? There probably are but the Magpies need to step up over the remaining eight games and prove this.

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