Newcastle United hope to continue their impressive current form at the Liberty Stadium on Wednesday night, after a four game winning run.
This impressive run has lifted the Magpies to sixth in the Premier League table, only a point off fourth place Liverpool. A win tomorrow night against Swansea, and Newcastle could be heading into their weekend clash at Manchester United, in a Champions League place.
Many would excuse Newcastle fans for getting carried away, and expecting their team to continue to mix it with the 'big boys'. However, if they can reproduce their current form, it isn't inconceivable. In November, Newcastle impressively dismantled Jose Mourinho's Chelsea, before grinding out a victory against Spurs at White Hart Lane.
This season is also showing parallels to the 2011/12 season where Newcastle came fifth. With the competitive nature of the Premier League this year, the top sides are frequently dropping points, and teams like Newcastle, who are gaining some consistency are finding themselves in and around the upper echelons of the table.
Similarly in that season, Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea were dropping points to teams they really shouldn't have done, and it was Newcastle who benefited, nearly qualifying for the Champions League.
Fortunes have changed quickly for Newcastle though. At the end of October, the mood was a lot more glum. After a 2-1 defeat to Sunderland, Newcastle were in 11th place only three points above the relegation zone and many, myself included, were calling for Alan Pardew's head. A month on, and Pardew is a dead cert to win manager of the month for November.
Pardew seems to have found his preferred starting XI and for the moment, it is working. However, just as fast as Newcastle's fortunes have changed for the better, their fortunes could take a turn for the worse. A difficult December, which features games against Manchester United, Southampton and Arsenal, arguably a true reflection of Newcastle's credentials this season, will be seen in their league position at the end of this calendar year.
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