Newcastle have been trimmed to 7/2 in bwin’s Premier League relegation odds after losing 2-1 to Leicester at St James’ Park.
The Magpies are still eight points clear of the drop zone in 15th, but have now gone five top-flight fixtures without a victory.
United have taken just five points from a possible 18 since being hit by a Covid-19 outbreak at the end of November.
Head coach Steve Bruce admitted they had contributed to their own downfall against the Foxes, with Andy Carroll’s late strike proving a mere consolation effort.
Bruce said: “That’s the frustrating thing, because there was nothing in it first half in my opinion.
“Unfortunately, we were caught giving the ball away high up the pitch, which is something we’ve been guilty of a few times with that final pass.
“We give it away and, against Leicester in particular, we know how good they are on the break against you and our first real mistake, we’ve been punished.”
Sheffield United have given themselves a huge mountain to climb by securing only two points from 17 games and are as short as 1/33 to go down.
The Blades suffered a 15th defeat in those fixtures when beaten 2-0 at Crystal Palace and have made the worst start to a Premier League season in history.
Chris Wilder’s side were a revelation last term, finishing ninth on their return to the top flight, but they have struggled badly this time round.
On what his players need to do, Wilder said: “It has to come from within. It’s not going to come from outside, it’s got to come from players finding a big moment, a big half of football and finding a big result.
“People are looking at everything from what the changing room’s like to the attitude, the selection, everything, and I get that. I understand criticism.
“It comes with one big moment, one big performance, one big result…That’s all we have to look for.”
Big Sam struggling to strengthen
West Brom are also in big trouble, according to bwin’s Premier League relegation odds, as they are 2/13 for a quick return to the Championship after being thrashed 4-0 by Arsenal on home turf.
The Baggies have eight points from 17 matches and manager Sam Allardyce has revealed new Brexit regulations have already harmed his transfer plans.
He said: “I have found three players already who were capable of coming here and they’re not allowed. It’s a shame.
“Due to the new regulations, in terms of the permit, they were unable to come to this country, whereas (previously) they would have done. I have to look at that and think ‘can he qualify?’
“That has made life a bit more difficult. It’s not so much the pandemic, it’s the change of rules because of the Brexit deal.
“We will do what we can and finding a player in this pandemic is going to be the hardest window I have ever worked in.
“No disrespect to my players here, because they are all working as hard as they can, but I do have to find better to lift the squad.
“Whatever player comes in, they have to be better than what we have and capable of going into the team almost immediately.”
The Cottagers have 11 points from 15 matches, while the Clarets are five points better off from the same number of fixtures.
Brighton can be backed at 7/2 to be relegated after a 3-3 draw with Wolves put them on 14 points from 17 outings.
The Seagulls rallied from 3-1 behind during a vastly-improved second-half showing and claimed a share of the spoils courtesy of Lewis Dunk’s header after a Neal Maupay spot-kick.
“You’re looking for character and I thought we got it,” beamed Graham Potter. “The players were amazing; great spirit, great personality and quality.”
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