Newcastle United could fall into the relegation zone for the first time this season if they lose to Aston Villa and results elsewhere go against them.
Steve Bruce’s side moved up to 16th with a dour goalless draw at West Brom on Sunday, but saw their cushion to the drop zone cut to just one point after Fulham’s surprise win at Liverpool.
The bookmakers’ now consider the out-of-form Magpies to be the favourites to be playing Championship football next season alongside the Baggies and Sheffield United.
United have won just two matches in their last 18 in all competitions, and have plummeted from mid-table into a increasingly tense relegation battle.
Bruce has been deprived of influential attacking trio Miguel Almiron, Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson for a run of fixtures which many viewed as key to the Magpies’ survival bid.
Newcastle played without a recognised striker in the draw at the Hawthorns, but the head coach could look to Dwight Gayle or Andy Carroll to spearhead the attack against Villa.
How would you like United to lineup? Should Bruce stick to the same system, or consider changes to suit Gayle or Carroll?
Have a go at our team selector tool, and select the Magpies XI you would like to see at St James’ Park on Friday night.