Premier League: Newcastle 5/6 to break Sheffield United’s winless record
Following their midweek draw with Norwich, Newcastle United are 5/6 to break a Premier League record and go 18 games without a win from the start of the season.
Although Derby County hold the dubious honour of 32 consecutive games without a win, even they managed a victory at the sixth attempt in their infamous 2007-08 campaign.
The longest run without a win from the start of a season was set by Sheffield United last year, and with a particularly precarious set of fixtures between now and the new year, it may be a while before Toon fans have something to celebrate.
Tuesday night’s clash with the beleaguered Canaries was another ‘must-win’ game that’s been and gone without success, and if Newcastle fail to get three points against Burnley this weekend then it’s trips to Leicester and Liverpool followed by a home game versus Manchester City.
Not only do they have to buck the trend of winless matches, but also that of sides going this far without a victory staying in the Premier League - as current record holders Sheffield United will vouch for!
Only one team had failed to win any of their opening 13 games in a 38-game season and stayed up (scroll down for the answer).
The winless run was extended to 14 games with the 1-1 draw with Norwich, leaving them in the company of Sheffield United (20-21), QPR (12-13) and Swindon Town (93-94).
All three went on to be relegated.
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Fans have been desperately waiting for the transfer window to open following the club’s takeover in October, but few would have imagined the club in the position they currently are – six points off safety, with a -14 goal difference.
And things could look even more perilous by the time the transfer window does open.
After their next four fixtures, they finish off the year hosting Manchester United under Ralf Rangnick, and travel to Goodison Park, where you imagine Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be fit and firing again.
Getting to 2022 without a win is a very real possibility.
Burnley meanwhile have a much more generous-looking fixture list, with the trip to St James’ this weekend, home games against West Ham, relegation rivals Watford and Everton, and visits to Aston Villa and Manchester United.
Watford’s fixtures look even more generous still. After hosting Manchester City on Saturday, they’ll see out the year with trips to Brentford, Burnley and Wolves, hosting Crystal Palace and West Ham.
Newcastle may well have an open chequebook in the January window – but will they be able to attract the right quality of player if they’re still cut adrift after the Christmas period?
Time will tell.
Oh, and it was Derby County in 2000-01, who went winless in their opening 13 games, before picking up 35 points in their final 24 matches to stay up.
Over to you, Newcastle…
By Steve Freeth