Newcastle United will go to the bet365 Stadium tomorrow and win, you can bet on it…
Where Newcastle United are concerned, I am usually one of the most sceptical when it comes to anybody predicting anything positive at the club.
Experience has taught me, especially under Mike Ashley, that looking on the bright side is almost sure to only end with yet another kick where it really hurts.
Your hopes crushed yet again after allowing yourself to think something good was in the process of happening.
However, against Stoke on Monday, I am very confident Newcastle can win.
I wrote a very similar article before the West Ham match where I explained why contrary to popular opinion, Newcastle would win, sure enough the 3-2 scoreline hardly did Rafa’s team justice as it should have been a wider winning margin.
The reasons why I believe it will be three points for NUFC tomorrow are below, and by the way, I haven’t made a habit of tipping Newcastle to win very often this season.
For example, I didn’t think we would beat Brighton yesterday, I thought it was possible but didn’t believe it would happen. They are a better team than us and it showed, having made a net investment in their promoted squad of over £40m in the summer, almost four times as big a net spend as Newcastle’s. The only thing that let the Seagulls down was the lack of a credible striker but as they showed, Brighton have got a very decent defence – something you can’t say about Stoke City…
Their best player was Marko Arnautovic and now he is with West Ham, where he was also the best player when Newcastle played the Hammers last weekend. Stoke have totally failed to replace the Austrian’s threat.
Unlike Brighton’s, the Stoke defence has been hopeless. they have conceded a massive 44 goals in 21 games, easily the most in the Premier League.
They are also missing their captain Ryan Shawcross against Newcastle, whilst Jamaal Lascelles has been proving just how vital he is to NUFC.
Meanwhile, it sums up how desperate Stoke have become up front, with the last month seeing Peter Crouch first choice up front, that is Peter Crouch who turns 37 in four weeks time. He hasn’t scored in any match he has started, his three goals coming when used as an impact sub earlier in the season.
The Potters have won just twice in their last 11 Premier League outings and those came against relegation rivals West Brom and Swansea, though they have also lost at home to the likes of Bournemouth and West Ham this season.
Their last nine home matches have seen Stoke concede in every one of them.
Stoke are one of a small group of teams that are of similar or worse quality than Newcastle, I also include West Ham, Swansea, Bournemouth and West Brom in that.
You might think I have convinced you about Stoke’s shortcomings but are Newcastle good enough to take advantage?
Whilst Newcastle may not be the best at the other end of the pitch, in the 15 PL games that Lascelles has started, only 13 goals have been conceded. on only two occasions has more than one goal being leaked and they were in the 2-2 draw at Southampton and 3-2 win at West Ham.
Newcastle’s counter attacking style is far more suited to playing away from home and I think they can get a lot of joy tomorrow, as the pressure is very much on Stoke to attack.
Speaking of pressure, the Stoke fans have lost patience with Mark Hughes and if Newcastle take the lead, the home fans will be all but certain to turn on the manager and his players, as they did when losing 3-0 to West Ham this month.
Goals – whilst five of the last six home matches have seen Newcastle fail to score, Newcastle have scored seven goals in the last five away games, only failing to score in the tight 1-0 defeat at Arsenal. Those last five away games included taking the lead at both Chelsea and Man Utd but not having the quality to take advantage.
If Rafa’s team can take the lead against Stoke, I think it will be a different matter.
With odds of 12/5 I think that Newcastle winning is a cracking bet.
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