Newcastle United vs Bristol City Preview: Magpies must secure three points ahead of three away games

Newcastle United vs Bristol City Preview: Magpies must secure three points ahead of three away games

After their home tie with the Robins, Rafael Benitez' men travel to all their three of the promotion-chasing pack in Brighton, Huddersfield and Reading, all in the space of seven days.

Jordan Cronin

Newcastle United will go into their home encounter with struggling Bristol City feeling that only a win will be accepted following their somewhat promotion defining next three games. 

With Brighton & Hove Albion, Huddersfield Town and Reading all on the horizon for the Magpies, Rafael Benitez' side must secure three points against the Robins to give some cushion on any possible slip-ups in those incredibly tough games. 

Though Lee Johnson's side will, in their own right, provide a difficult task as the 21st placed side are looking to recapture their early season form and ease away from any relegation fears.

Recent form - The Robins can't buy a win

When the Robins won six of their opening 11 games, Johnson's side looked a force to be reckoned with this season. However, having only picked up three wins in the Championship since October 22, 2016, victories that came against Blackburn Rovers, Ipswich Town and Rotherham United, City are just two points outside the relegation zone.

And to no surprise, their horrific form has left boss Johnson under pressure, with talk of a defeat at St James' Park possibly sealing the 35-year-old's fate. 

City have lost their last two games at the hands of Leeds United and Fulham, though can be bolstered by their three-game unbeaten run where they picked up draws at Derby County, despite surrendering a 3-0 lead and Sheffield Wednesday, and also a win versus relegation rivals, Rotherham. 

Their form, of course, is contrasted fortunes from their opponents. After suffering a difficult Christmas period, Benitez' side seem to be back on track following a continuing seven-game unbeaten run. Albeit there have been some disappointing draws for the Magpies, a 2-2 draw at home to Queens Park Rangers being the standout performance, the Toon Army have bounced back with three wins against Derby, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa. There was also a credited point at Norwich City collected.

Last meeting - Magpies edge tight affair 

Bristol City could be boosted by their earlier outing against the Magpies in August 2016 despite ending up on the losing side. 

The Robins were unlucky not to get a point in their early season meeting. (Photo: GettyImages/Serena Taylor)
The Robins were unlucky not to get a point in their early season meeting. | Photo: GettyImages/Serena Taylor

Dwight Gayle's 19th-minute strike was enough to earn Newcastle their first away win of the season after the Toon Army were made to dig deep and ride a late storm from the hosts.  

City boss Johnson said after the game that he couldn't be "too critical because his players gave everything." 

United manager Benitez spoke of building confidence after the game. The three points at Ashton Gate is maybe of hidden importance following the Magpies' fabulous record on the road this season. 

Overall record - United have upper hand

In 27 meetings between the two club, Newcastle have only six against the Robins. 

United haven't been beaten off a Bristol City side since 1990, where they fell to a 1-0 defeat at Ashton Gate. Since that defeat, the Magpies have won six of their last eight meetings with the Robins, with the two draws both in United's 2009-2010 Championship winning campaign. 

Newcastle's current run against City has overturned a period of no wins against the Robins, where 11 games were contested between 1910-1991 (W0 L6, D5).