Newcastle Looks to Snap Winless Streak Against Birmingham
Newcastle has done a fantastic job to ensure that there would be no repeat of a relegation from two seasons ago, and they are essentially safe as they sit on 41 points with three games left, six points above the relegation zone.
But still, the Magpies would love to snap a four-game winless streak this weekend at home as they host Birmingham, who is looking to move further away from the relegation zone as well.
Newcastle has a pair of draws and two losses since a 4-1 win at home over Wolves on April 2nd, and they were spanked 3-0 at Liverpool, where they came face to face with striker Andy Carroll, who they sold to Liverpool for a club-record for $57.7 million at the transfer deadline.
They could have used Carroll to boost their faith among those who bet on sports right now, because they’re struggling to find the back of the net, scoring a single goal during this four-game winless skid. Now that Carroll is on Merseyside, Newcastle’s leading scoring is captain Kevin Nolan, who has 12 goals in 30 games from midfield, followed by forward Shola Ameobi, who has eight goals in 20 games, and then Leon Best, who has six goals in 10 games, but he’s gone for the rest of the year with an ankle/foot injury. Then you have another midfielder, Joey Barton, with five goals and a team-leading eight assists in 30 games, and you have what should be Newcastle’s main goal of the offseason.
The Magpies need to go out and find a goal-scorer to replace Carroll (who had 11 goals in 18 games), because you’re not going to be very successful when your main goal threats are your midfielders.
Nolan and Barton are great at supporting strikers from midfield, but they’re still not of the quality of a Frank Lampard, for example. This week’s forward pairing should continue to be Ameobi and Peter Lovenkrandis, which is fine against the likes of Birmingham, and Newcastle has a home game against West Brom to finish the season, so they should escape the season unscathed, but they need to find a striker in the offseason.