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Beating Liverpool is worth much more than three points for NUFC

By Lee Ryder on Apr 25, 13 11:05 AM


Just a fortnight ago Newcastle United's clash with Benfica was quite rightly dubbed the biggest game at St James' Park for eight years.

In terms of stature it was the closest that United had come to the latter stages of winning a trophy since Graeme Souness' side had reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

We're always hearing football managers say that "every" match is a big one these days in the Premier League.

And from a financial point of view, they aren't wrong.

But with Newcastle knowing they can take a massive step to securing survival against Liverpool on Saturday, just where does this one rank and how much is it worth to the Magpies?

One thing is for certain and that is Toon tycoon Mike Ashley will have a face like thunder if Newcastle somehow manage to slip up against the Reds.

After all, if they do, you have to wonder just where the next win is coming from with tough away trips to West Ham and QPR coming up.

At the start of the season both of these fixtures would have been classed as winnable for the Magpies, but after a campaign of just one Premier League win on the road they can't be looked at in any other way than tough.

Without writing off three fixtures in a row no Newcastle fan wants to go through a last day of the season having to watch their side have to beat Arsenal to stay up.

Which is what makes the game with Liverpool so important.

Ashley knows that relegation this season could cost his club £60million in TV rights next term.

The Premier League is the place to be in terms of money in the next few years and Newcastle HAVE to be at the top table if their business plan is to continue to be a profitable one.

Quite simply they need to be in a position of maximum opportunity in order to press on.

Beating Liverpool would put them in a comfortable and stable position, easing any worries of the drop with three games to spare and cranking up the pressure on the likes of Aston Villa, Wigan, Sunderland and Stoke.

Few could have predicted that United would come anywhere near being involved in "Survival Sunday" this year.

A victory over the Reds would flatten the prospect of that.

And that's why the game with Liverpool is so big in terms of finance, stature and dreams of a brighter future for everybody concerned with Newcastle United.

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Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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