Newcastle in scrap for survival

LONDON - Newcastle United will be relegated for the first time in 20 years if they lose at Aston Villa on Sunday in another bleak end to the Premier League season for the teams in the northeast of England.

LONDON - Newcastle United will be relegated for the first time in 20 years if they lose at Aston Villa on Sunday in another bleak end to the Premier League season for the teams in the northeast of England.

Two out of four teams - Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Sunderland and nearby Hull - will go down after the final round of games, joining already relegated West Bromwich Albion.

With the league title already secured by Manchester United and the top four positions almost certain to stay the same, the focus of Sunday's games is who will capture the final spot in the Europa League, the new format for the UEFA Cup, and which two teams are relegated.

Middlesbrough have the toughest task because they are second from bottom, two points behind Newcastle . Newcastle are a point behind 17th place Hull and two behind Sunderland.

Free-falling Hull are just outside the relegation zone and take on champions Manchester United, who are likely to rest several of their stars for next Wednesday's Champions League final against Barcelona in Rome.

Sunderland also have a tough game at home to Chelsea.

Everton and Aston Villa are already assured places in the second-tier European competition and eighth-place Fulham are favoured to capture another one.

Fulham host Everton and have a two-point advantage over eighth-place Tottenham, who have a tough game at Liverpool.

Sunday's other games are: Arsenal v Stoke, Blackburn Rovers v West Bromwich Albion, Manchester City v Bolton and Wigan v Portsmouth. - Sapa-AP

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