Newcastle on course for Champions League
IT is more than eight years since Newcastle last competed in the Champions League but they are on course for a return to Europe’s premier competition after climbing into fourth place with a 3-0 victory at home to Stoke on Saturday.
A brace from Yohann Cabaye and an 11th goal of the season from Papiss Cisse helped the Magpies record their sixth successive Premier League victory.
It was enough to lift them above Tottenham, who were defeated 1-0 at relegation-threatened QPR, and to within three points of third-placed Arsenal, who drew 0-0 at home to Chelsea in the early kick-off.
Another four wins for Alan Pardew’s men would be enough to seal a top-four finish and qualification for the Champions League as long as Chelsea are not crowned kings of Europe. They are 6-4 shots with Ladbrokes.
QPR’s victory – courtesy of a first half free kick from Adel Taarabt – lifted them three points above the drop zone.
The Hoops have been eased to 13-8 in the relegation betting but Bolton were cut to 1-2 for a bottom-three finish after their 1-1 draw at home to Swansea left them second from bottom.
Blackburn kept their survival hopes alive with a 2-0 victory at home to Norwich but they are still no bigger than 1-3 to finish in the drop zone.