A sad night for North-East Football.
Tonight’s Premier League match between Newcastle United and Middlesbrough is possibly the biggest in both clubs’ histories; it really is that crucial.
A loss, at this stage of the campaign, will surely spell the end for either of these giants of North-East football, and whoever goes, it will surely be a great loss to the Premier League.
With both running out of matches to turn things around, with their declines steadily worsening, both Newcastle United and Middlesbrough find themselves languishing at the foot of the table; with even perennial strugglers, West Brom, applying the pressure from the bottom. Nothing other than a win will do for either of these two great northern clubs; with defeat for either, meaning almost certain relegation.
Newcastle United Vs Middlesbrough : Tonight’s Showdown
Tonight’s mammoth game will be the 125th competitive meeting and the 114th Tyne-Tees league derby between Newcastle and Middlesbrough; with both clubs in grave danger of relegation.
Newcastle have not won in 10 Premier League games, the last five of which have been under Alan Shearer, and have equal points to their North-East counterparts: who remain one place below them in the drop zone. Only West Brom are below these two clubs, whom despite looking a lost cause for most of this season, have made a remarkable late recovery, winning another at the weekend, to apply further pressure on this fixture.
Middlesbrough travel to St James’ Park in danger of setting an unwanted club record of 11 successive away league defeats.
The last four Premier League matches between Newcastle and Middlesbrough have been draws, as have the last four top-flight meetings at St James’ Park.
NEWCASTLE UNITED FACT-FILE
- Newcastle are in their 16th successive season in the Premier League. They have been runners-up twice (1995-96 and 1996-97), and have never finished lower than 14th (2004-05). Their average finish is eighth.
- The Toon Army have won four home league games all season, which equals their total of managers in this campaign.
- Newcaslte have no win in eight Premier League matches at St James’; drawn four and lost four since defeating Tottenham 2-1 on 21 December. Shearer has not yet won a match as Newcaslte manager.
- The Toon have drawn six of the last eight Premier League North-East derbies.
- Remaining fixtures: Fulham (h) and Aston Villa (a)
MIDDLESBROUGH FC FACT-FILE
- Middlesbrough have not finished lower than 14th since returning to the Premier League in 1998. Their average finish from 13 seasons in this league was 13th.
- Boro have won only once in the last eight Premier League games.
- Middlesbrough have failed to score in 13 of the last 18 league games, including the last three. Boro have not netted in 270 minutes (four hours 30 minutes) of Premier League football, since Marlon King’s 90thminutegoal in the 3-1 victory over Hull last month.
- Boro have not won a North-East Premier League derby in eight attempts since a 1-0 home victory over Newcastle on 22 October 2006.
- Remaining fixtures: Aston Villa(h) and West Ham(a).
Despite having a soft spot for Geordies & their Toon Army – on account of everything they’ve given the game aswell as their passionate supporters – it will be a great shame to lose either of these two teams, who have contributed so much to football in this country, especially over the past 10 years; and whoever goes down, they’ll be sorely missed by everyone.
On behalf of everyone at The English Football Post, we’d like to wish both clubs the best of luck for tonight’s crucial encounter; and whoever loses, let’s hope they come straight back up next season; as, quite frankly, the Premier League will surely be a worse place without either of you.
This one will be tense…
The EFP Prediction: 1-2 Middlesbrough
(If you can’t watch it, feel free to listen to it on The EFP’s Five Live Radio on the right.)