Newcastle United v Norwich City
Sunday 18 March 2012 4pm
Live On SKY
Leicester’s surprise win in the FA Cup at Norwich at lease ensured that Newcastle fans would at least enjoy one Saturday 3pm kick-off…or possibly not.
At a ridiculously late stage they moved it to the Sunday and so Stoke on the 21st April will be the next possible (at the minute!) Saturday 3pm date at home.
That Leicester defeat has been part of a disappointing recent run for the visitors which has seen them record only two wins in the last seven matches with four defeats. Newcastle have almost mirrored those results with two wins and three defeats in their last seven fixtures.
Maybe both clubs are finding that relatively small squads find it hard to sustain their form when niggles, knocks and proper injuries bite as the season reaches the crunch.
Whatever the truth of it, Delia’s boys have done her and the fans on the terraces proud as they have not just reached safety already but have done it in some style.
Paul Lambert has shown himself to be possibly the most promising of the younger managers and showed his tactical nous by mixing up his tactics at Carrow Road against a Newcastle team lacking any fit centre-backs. That physical approach was only part of Newcastle’s undoing that day as Gosling in particular had a nightmare, gifting them a crucial goal before earning a red card.
Demba Ba was simply superb that day, scoring two brilliant goals and just as at The Emirates on Monday he did more or less a one man job up front with relatively little support. We fancy him to get back amongst the goals an make him our first tip of the day to score the first goal at 7-2 with BET365 .
One positive is that Newcastle have only failed to score once in the last thirteen matches when the team indeed failed to turn up at all at White Hart Lane.
Our lack of scoring power, beyond Demba Ba, is summed up by our next top scorer having four (Ben Arfa and Best) whereas Norwich have Holt (12), Morison (9) and Pilkington (7) amongst the goals this season. It remains to be seen whether Alan Pardew will bring Cissé back into the action from the start, I’m sure he would love to have the luxury of bringing the Senegalese striker on with the team already a couple up….
However, one player who must start is Hatem Ben Arfa who has shown the right attitude in terms of tracking back when he plays on the right and is probably almost on a par with Ba as our most potent goal threat at the moment.
Cheick Tiote will hopefully be ok after limping off with what Alan Pardew believed was ‘hopefully’ just cramp, plus Danny Simpson is also expected to be alright after also picking up a knock.
With those around us not playing at the weekend, the league table will look a whole lot better with 3 points against the Canaries and we believe Newcastle will get back on track and the other two bets we fancy with our betting partners BET365 are a 2-0 win for United at 8-1 and a win/clean sheet combination which pays 21-10.