Michael Owen has boldly predicted Newcastle United to finish in the top-half of the Premier League once again despite them currently sitting in the relegation zone.
The former Magpies forward shared that it would be no surprise to him to see Rafa Benitez lead his side to another top-10 finish even though the club have only picked up one point from their first four league outings.
Owen pointed out that the fixture list hadn’t been too kind to the Magpies this season and that things will start to get easier for them once they get their clash with Arsenal out of the way on Saturday.
“Newcastle start the weekend in the bottom three and are yet to win, but the fixture list has not been kind to United and they look to have some easier looking fixtures after the visit of Arsenal,” wrote Owen for BetVictor.
“Indeed, I still believe The Toon will move clear of the drop zone and it would be no surprise to me if they again finished the season in the top half.
“Arsenal have yet to convince and often looked shaky at Cardiff despite running out 3-2 winners. Two defeats from four outings is hardly top 4 form, however, and the Gunners are already looking more like a top six outfit than one who will challenge for a Champions League spot – at least this season.
“Newcastle won the corresponding fixture 2-1 last season and the Gunners have not won back-to-back away PL games since May 2017. I do not expect the Magpies to lose.”
It’s bold of Owen to predict the Magpies to secure a top-10 finish currently as they had a miserable start to their 2018/19 campaign. It’s also bold to claim that Benitez’s side will successfully avoid defeat when the Gunners play them at St James Park on Saturday as the London club appear to be sleeping giants right now. Unai Emery is trying to implement his playing style on the Gunners currently and that has seen them submit mixed performances this season. The Gunners lost to both Chelsea and Manchester City but did manage to beat Cardiff City and West Ham in order to have a respectable number of points on the board ahead of the international break. Yet after considering two goals against Neil Warnock’s side in their last outing, they’re clearly should be concerns that the Gunners are defensively weak as they nearly successfully dropped two points in that match. However it’s still bold to believe that the Gunners won’t have enough to overpower the Magpies as on paper their squad has a lot of quality players who are capable of giving Benitez a headache.