Newcastle United face three Premier League fixtures in eight days as part of the traditionally hectic festive schedule.
It’s a really tricky Christmas programme for Steve Bruce’s side this year. They travel to Manchester City on Boxing Day before home games against Liverpool and Leicester City.
It doesn’t look good. Those corresponding fixtures last season produced no points for Newcastle.
They were thrashed 5-0 at the Etihad and lost 3-1 at home to Liverpool after lock-down lifted. Leicester won 3-0 at St James’ Park on New Year’s Day.
Can Newcastle gain a Brucey bonus?
Can Bruce’s side do any better this time around? Come on, it’s Christmas. Here’s our predictions (go easy on us)…
Manchester City (a) – Loss
Manchester City aren’t the force this season they have been under Guardiola, it has to be said.
They can be counter-attacked and aren’t as clinical in front of goal.
However, will Steve Bruce be brave enough to try to exploit those weaknesses? Judging by displays against Manchester United and Chelsea this season, the answer is no.
That means Pep Guardiola will expect to kick off his Christmas period with a win over Newcastle. Man City are starting to look ominous again. You never know, though?
Liverpool (h) – Loss
It really is a tricky festive period for Newcastle.
After the Saturday clash at the Etihad, the Magpies have a Wednesday meeting with the reigning champions!
Yes, Jurgen Klopp’s side have injuries at the back but they have still been imperious. They’ll expect a victory here.
As with City, it may come down to Bruce’s tactics. If he’s bold, Newcastle might get something. If the Magpies sit back, there’s only one outcome.
Leicester (h) – Win
Fatigue starts to mount by this point of the festive period.
Leicester City don’t have a huge squad and still rely heavily on the ageing Jamie Vardy for firepower.
That could have an impact on this game – and Newcastle should be fired up after two really tough matches.
A draw looks the most likely outcome but, if Bruce gets his selection right, Newcastle could gain the win to cheer all Toon fans.
The side will have to get to grips with Leicester better than they did last season, however. The Foxes smashed in eight league goals without reply against Newcastle last term.
A Newcastel win would be a great start to 2021.