How can Newcastle qualify for the Champions League?

The footballing landscape in England looks fairly different to how it did around a year ago.

Manchester City and particularly Liverpool look far from untouchable powerhouses, Manchester United and particularly Arsenal mean business and don’t appear to be flattering to deceive, and Newcastle look like a different team completely.

The Magpies’ progression under Eddie Howe has been nothing short of jaw-dropping. Combining a staunch solidity at the back with exciting and powerful football going forward, Newcastle are dynamic, dangerous and quite simply delicious.

Indeed, from battling relegation upon Howe’s appointment, the club are now gunning for European footballing elite. Fans might dream of a Premier League title, but Champions League qualification for the first time in nearly two decades is becoming less and less of a fantasy at St. James’ Park.

Here’s what the journey to the big time holds in store.

Boasting the English top flight’s best defence and just one defeat in the first half of the 2022/23 campaign, Howe’s Magpies are flying high. The club currently sits third in the table after 19 matches, so are in a good position to push on for a top-four finish.

There is a long way to go, though, and, with trips to Manchester City and Chelsea as well as home ties against Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal to come, a lot can change by the time May rolls around.

Having lost just once against the ‘big six’ so far this term, however, even the most pessimistic of Newcastle fans might be feeling an unmanageable urge to feel hopeful.

The Magpies boast a record of two points per game thus far, with a total tally of 76 to come should they continue in the same vein – that would have seen them achieve a top-four finish in the previous eight seasons.

Of course, Newcastle are yet to play 19 games of their Premier League campaign, but their so far impeccably consistent form and the current five-point cushion they hold from fifth-placed Spurs come as good signs.