AFC Bournemouth (H) – March 5
Only goal difference has Steve McClaren’s side plunged into the Premier League’s relegation zone at the moment, so there is still plenty of optimism for the Magpies to beat the drop before the season concludes. Their first taste of victory could come early next month when newly promoted AFC Bournemouth visit St James’ Park, with the Cherries dropping to 15th in the standings after back-to-back defeats.
Sunderland (H) – March 20
Then just over a fortnight later, it is the big one! Another crucial Tyne-Wear derby. However Newcastle’s arch-rivals Sunderland have won the last six Premier League meetings between the two clubs, making the Magpies’ chances of securing all three points rather scarce. But surely their losing streak against the Black Cats has got to come to an end at some point? March’s meeting could be the perfect opportunity.
Aston Villa (A) – May 7
By the time May comes around; Aston Villa could already be down and out, making the Villans’ players’ task much more simple – just play for pride. However McClaren’s men should still be in with a fighting chance on the penultimate weekend of league fixtures, meaning Newcastle’s players should be fired up to bag all three points at Villa Park in order to preserve their top-flight status.