Newcastle and Sunderland won't relax

17May 2013

England - Premier League

 

While all eyes focus on the battle for fourth between north London's great rivals, running alongside is a sub-plot which can have a big bearing...

 

You could almost hear the collective sigh in the north east as Wigan's relegation was confirmed following defeat to Arsenal on Tuesday.

 

Newcastle were all but mathematically safe though Sunderland's Premier League status was still hanging by a thread until that result as they teetered in 17th on just  39 points.

 

However, the season doesn't finish there. Now that the spectre of relegation has been laid to rest, there is still the pressing matter of north-east bragging rights to

play for.

 

After that 3-0 humbling at St James' Park in the second match of the Paolo Di Canio era just a few weeks back, Newcastle will be in no mood to relinquish their current  position, four places and two points above Sunderland in 13th.

 

That scenario is possible if Sunderland win at White Hart Lane - available at 11.0 - and Newcastle fail to beat Champions League-chasing Arsenal in front of their fans.

 

This geographical sub-plot will have a major impact on whether Tottenham, currently rated 3.3 outsiders, are able to pip the Gunners to fourth. The Gunners are 1.41 favourites to grab that all-important spot.

 

Despite losing a 7-3 classic to Arsenal earlier in the season, the Magpies have actually fared quite well against Arsenal at St James' Park in the Premier League  recently.

 

The Toon have tasted defeat only once in their last six league meetings with the Londoners in the north-east, drawing four of those. A draw for the Gunners could yet  be catastrophic in their quest for a 16th straight shot at the Champions League trophy.

 

Due to their inferior goal difference, Spurs know they must win at 1.34 and hope that Arsenal fail to claim three points at Newcastle to realise their own dreams.

 

A Tottenham win against a battling Sunderland side is by no means guaranteed as this has been a close contest in recent seasons, producing two draws from the last five  encounters, while Spurs have only won the other three meetings by a one-goal margin.

 

Whatever happens, the battle for the north-east will have a big impact on the final top-four landscape.

 

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Keywords: Newcastle, Sunderland, relax

Source: Betfair

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