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Four reasons why Newcastle United may yet land top 10 finish

Magpies may have turned corner in draw with Premier League champions Chelsea, so bet365's terrific 12/1 odds for Newcastle making top 10 finish worth a punt

Newcastle United ended a run of four straight defeats by drawing at home to Chelsea and, while losing a two-goal lead was disappointing, there are signs Steve McClaren’s men are leading a recovery.

If this point against the Premier League champions proves to be a springboard to real improvement, then bet365‘s best-price 12/1 odds for the Magpies to record a top 10 finish are well worth considering.

McClaren set his sights on a similar aim upon being appointed, so here are four reasons why the Toon Army could be looking at an upturn in form and fortunes.

Cup exit means no distractions
Between now and when they enter the FA Cup in January, Newcastle can be solely focused on the Premier League. While it has long been a gripe of fiercely loyal Toon Army members that domestic competitions like the Capital One Cup aren’t taken seriously by their team, it leaves Magpies’ midweeks free for extra training and that means more preparation for when Saturday comes…

Perez potential
Spanish striking starlet Ayoze Perez produced a goal and assist during the Chelsea game to remind everyone what boundless potential he has. Plucked from the Segunda Division after terrific exploits at Tenerife, if backed by McClaren to be a regular starter, then everyone at St James’ Park will reap the rewards.

Autumn and spring fixtures give chance to build momentum
Starting with their first game following the October international break, Newcastle have a run of four more than winnable matches against Norwich City at home, then an away derby in Sunderland, surprise strugglers Stoke City on Tyneside and a trip to Bournemouth.

There’s a dozen points up for grabs and a real opportunity to string a run of results together. It’s a similar story come springtime in March and early April, where the Magpies meet the above teams in reverse fixtures.

Add 24 to their current total, plus other fixtures that should be targeted as wins or draws in between, and it’s more than possible Newcastle could be in contention for a top 10 finish with six games to go.

Wijnaldum proving his worth
It’s easy to forget the Magpies have the reigning Dutch footballer of the year in their ranks. Georginio Wijnaldum captained PSV Eindhoven to the Eredivisie title last term, scoring 14 goals and making as many assists.

While his Newcastle return of two goals in seven is nothing like as spectacular yet, judging a player making a step up after just a handful of Premier League games would be wrong. Goals in big games against Southampton and Chelsea helped secure points for the cause, and there’s more to come from forward-thinking midfielder Wijnaldum, so watch this space.

BETTING TIP: Newcastle record a top 10 finish @ 12/1 with bet365.

All odds were correct at time of posting.

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