Newcastle United must end their rotten run of form on Sunday against Wolverhampton Wanderers, as Eddie Howe’s side look to get their Premier League campaign back on track.
Paul Merson thinks Newcastle will do just that in what he has called a ‘huge game’ for the Magpies.
He certainly isn’t wrong, as the fixture represents a real chance to regain momentum and effectively stop the rot.
Following the disappointment of the Carabao Cup final, a brighter light has been shone of Newcastle’s poor form in 2023.
Howe’s side are massively underperforming, and have won just one Premier League game this year. In our last eight league games, we have only won one. In all competitions, we have lost three in a row. That must be caveated by the fact that those games were against Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City.
But Newcastle are now in a position where qualifying for Europe could be a real struggle, especially if our goalscoring woes continue.
Paul Merson thinks Newcastle will beat Wolves
While the floodgates won’t open, Merson has predicted that Newcastle will beat Wolves 1-0 in his latest column for Sportskeeda.
“This is a huge game for Newcastle United,” he wrote.
“They’ve lost three on the trot and are winless in their last five. Newcastle United are struggling at the moment and are just two points ahead of Fulham and three points ahead of Brighton.
“If Brighton, Brentford and Fulham finish over them, all the good work they’ve done would have gone to waste. It’s alright if you keep winning even if you’re not scoring too many goals. But if the results aren’t going your way and you’re not scoring goals, then that becomes a major problem.
“They need to win this one. If they win this game, they are back in the top-four race. The problem for Eddie Howe right now is that they just don’t have a reliable goalscorer. Callum Wilson has gone off the boil.
“Wolves have been difficult to beat under Julen Lopetegui and they no longer get hammered. They’ve done an unbelievable job in landing Lopetegui. He is a top-tier manager. Wolves are a good team and they shouldn’t be where they are in the table.
“They have good players and they are a difficult team to beat. It’s not going to be an easy game for Newcastle United but I still expect them to get the win here.”
Callum Wilson is struggling
As Merson says, goals are the issue for Howe right now. Callum Wilson is massively underperforming, and has admitted that he needs to improve.
However, he might not get the chance to on Sunday, with fans calling for Howe to pick Alexander Isak ahead of the Toon number nine.
Wilson has scored just one goal since the World Cup and looks massively out of form. The £20million man could do with a spell out of the starting XI, while Isak must be itching to show what he can do.
Sunday is a must-win for Magpies
It really is a massive game for Newcastle. If we don’t win and results go against us, we could be as low as ninth by the end of the weekend.
But the Magpies must look up rather than down. The chasing pack is strong, but we have proven this season that we can hang with the best.
There is still a chance that we can qualify for the Champions League, but it will be slim if we fail to beat Wolves this weekend. They are a good team under Julen Lopetegui, but this is absolutely a must-win for Howe.