Jamie Carragher has previously claimed that Newcastle United will not finish in the top four this season, but now the Liverpool legend has done a complete U-turn.
The Magpies are currently third in the Premier League after 20 games, and are on course to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
After a breathtaking start to the season, Eddie Howe’s side have continued their form after the World Cup break. His team are yet concede a league goal since domestic football returned.
It is a real shock to see Newcastle so high up the table, and the big question is if they can sustain this charge for a return to Europe’s elite competition.
Now we are more than halfway through the season, and the Sky Sports pundit has changed his mind.
Jamie Carragher now thinks Newcastle will finish in the top four
Sky Sports Premier League presented Monday Night Football on Monday night (unsurprisingly), broadcasting Tottenham’s 1-0 win over Fulham.
The result dragged Antonio Conte’s side back in the mix, and they are now three points behind Newcastle and Manchester United.
After the game, pundits Carragher and Gary Neville were asked for their predictions for the rest of the season. And while the ex-Man United player does not think Newcastle will qualify for the Champions League, Carragher believes they will.
“I’ve got Newcastle,” he said.
“I just think they are not involved in European football and whenever I watch Newcastle play now, the energy – similar to Arsenal – they are defensively the best team in the league. We’re not talking about some easy touch who are a Newcastle of old who are scoring goals but they’re all over the place.
“They are very organised and the energy they play with when I watch them play…even against Crystal Palace, they dropped two points but they battered them. More often than not you win that game.
“Of course Tottenham could get there, someone else could get there. But I just think with no European football and the home games, the atmosphere [they’ll do it].”
Tough to beat Newcastle
It’s a change of tune from Carragher, who now thinks that Champions League football is on the horizon for Newcastle United.
But Neville isn’t convinced, and thinks Spurs and his side Man United will get in ahead of them. For the record, those are two teams who have failed to beat Newcastle this season.
In fact, only Liverpool have the honour of saying they beat the Magpies in the Premier League this season. Howe is currently on a 15 game unbeaten run, with his side keeping six clean sheets in a row in the league.
That resilience will keep Newcastle up there. We are hard to beat – very far from being an easy touch as Carragher says.
Only time will tell if this form can be sustained. Toon fans believe it can, and so does Jamie Carragher.