The mid-September footballing adage that it’s difficult to win the title at this stage of the season, but very easy to lose it, is likely to concern both Newcastle and their opponents Derby County prior to their meeting at tomorrow teatime.
The Rams might be wallowing close to the foot of the table, but they’re only four points adrift of Newcastle which suggests this contest will be closer than many folks believe.
A point made by the fixture’s ‘match win’ odds: Coral quote both sides at 7/4 to win.
Three consecutive league victories has propelled the Magpies to fourth place in the Championship, and while they lost on their last visit to Derby (in 2009-10), there’s a sense that Rafa Benitez’s men can make it four from four.
Punters who concur can get 15/2 (Skybet) against Newcastle winning 1-0, although bet365’s 5/2 odds for it to finish on level terms has attracted steady support from those seeking a form of betting insurance.
Newcastle are 2/1 at Ladbrokes to keep a clean sheet and, as the match stats team at bettingexpert.com point out, three of the Magpies last four victories in all competitions have come when they have prevented the opposition from scoring.
Everton, scheduled to visit the Stadium of Light on Monday night, may have started their campaign in fine form and arrive in the north east priced as 6/5 favourites (Marathonbet) to secure maximum points.
However, in recent seasons, Sunderland have held a significant advantage over the Merseysiders and are a massive 14/5 (Betway) to repeat the success they enjoyed last term.
The Black Cats won the corresponding fixture 3-0 last season and as the match stats team at bettingexpert.com point out, Sunderland have won four and drawn three of the pair’s last 10 meetings.
A number of bookmakers consider Monday’s duel being a low-scoring affair as ‘strong’ and punters may, therefore, fancy the 5/6 (888sport) about the match yielding fewer than 2.5 goals.
One goal could be enough to settle it and Sunderland are 10/11 (Paddy Power) to score the opening goal and 5/2 with Skybet to enjoy a one-goal margin of victory.
Odds supplied by www.smartbets.com, the customisable odds comparison site