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Newcastle United lead Group D after the second round of fixtures. What's next?
Newcastle United currently lead Group D in the Europa League after defeating Bordeaux 3-0 at home Thursday, giving them 4 points through 2 matches. They've yet to concede, and their +3 goal differential places them well above the other three teams.
It's impossible to clinch advancement in any competition before passing the halfway mark, of course, and nobody would suggest that there's no work left to be done. However, wins in the next two matchups (both with Club Brugge) would all be guarantee a spot in the Round of 32, allowing Alan Pardew to rest his players ahead of the wild month of December. At this point, even grabbing points every match will go a long way toward preserving a top two spot. That's the advantage of winning a match early on. Here are the remaining Group D fixtures:
Newcastle United vs. Club Brugge
Maritimo vs. Bordeaux
Club Brugge vs. Newcastle United
Bordeaux vs. Maritimo
Newcastle United vs. Maritimo
Club Brugge vs. Bordeaux
Bordeaux vs. Newcastle United
Maritimo vs. Club Brugge