Michael Owen has been talking about Newcastle United ahead of Sunday’s match at St James Park.
He believes that if there is to be a winner it will be Rafa’s team.
The Spaniard once again used three/five at the back in the creditable 1-1 draw with Everton, making it four points from the last two away games when he has used the system.
Michael Owen interested to see if this Wolves match is when he uses it at home.
Using three centre-backs at Goodison Park allowed Jamaal Lascelles to come back into the team and Owen thought he was ‘outstanding’, Fabians Schar is suspended for one game after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Everton, but Ciaran Clark can/could come in.
He makes the point that Wolves are struggling for goals on their travels with only five in seven away trips, however, Newcastle are just as bad at home with only six goals in eight matches at St James Park.
No wonder that in tipping Newcastle to win, Michael Owen’s bet also has less than three goals to be scored in the game.
Overall this season, Wolves average exactly one goal per game (15 in 15), whilst Newcastle are currently less (12 in 15) than a goal a game.
Yet again Newcastle are up against a club that are showing far more ambition in the transfer market and this summer Wolves spent around £85m, with a net spend of around £70m, a net spend over £90m more than Newcastle’s.
They have invested in some quality players including at least two that have seen fees higher than Newcastle’s 2005 record signing…Michael Owen.
The better quality players signed have been seen in effect with results such as draws at Man Utd and Arsenal, a point at home to Man City and a narrow 3-2 loss against Spurs. Yet at the same time losing to Huddersfield, Cardiff, Brighton and Watford.
‘Experts’ such as Phil Neville made fools of themselves early on when claiming Wolves were the best ever team to be promoted to the Premier League, their 12th place in the table suggesting they are nowhere near that. However, they have had money spent and look a team that won’t be troubled by relegation, which is a decent start when promoted.
It is strange the bookies stance on things, when Newcastle were really struggling, they were still made favourites to beat both Bournemouth and Watford, despite that pair being in the top seven at the time.
Yet despite Newcastle’s recent form (fifth best in the PL over last six games) and Wolves picking up only four points from the last 21, the visitors are favourites (see below) on Sunday.
The 2-1 win over Chelsea in midweek appears to have helped spark off some hype again, though looking at the stats it does suggest they carried the luck. Wolves scored with both shots they had on target, managed only 30% possession and one corner, yet won the game.
Michael Owen speaking to BetVictor:
“Wolves came from behind to beat Chelsea at Molineux midweek.
“But they are struggling for goals on the road and if there is to be a winner at St James Park on Sunday then I feel it will be the hosts.
“I was very impressed with the Magpies defensively at Goodison midweek with the returning skipper Jamaal Lascelles outstanding in a three-man defence.
“It will be interesting to see if Rafa Benitez perseveres with the system back on home soil.
“Tip: Newcastle to win and under 2.5 goals at 4/1.”
Newcastle v Wolves Match Betting:
All Newcastle v Wolves betting HERE