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‘Did someone order a thrashing?’ – Sky Sports expert looks forward to Newcastle’s Saturday

4 months ago
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An interesting new Sky Sports column with some analysis and comments on what is happening at Newcastle United.

The column is looking at Premier League matches overall and predicting what will happen.

However, unlike the usual ex-pro predictions, that are usually simply based on how ‘big’ a club is and whether or not they won the previous game, this one has proper analysis, you know, based on relevant stats.

The Sky Sports ‘Jones Knows’ column looks at the matches from a betting perspective and has been scratching beneath the surface at both Manchester City and Newcastle United.

With Man City, the Sky Sports betting expert sees a more pragmatic Pep Guardiola, contrasting how they won 1-0 at high flying Southampton and time wasted towards the end, compared to the more familiar all out attack approach when they have played ‘lesser-ranked teams’, not difficult to guess which category Newcastle United are seen deeply entrenched in.

The Sky Sports pundit points to Man City racking up a massive 60 shots in the recent home matches against Burnley (5-0), Fulham (2-0) and West Brom (1-1). That latter draw was the exception that proves the rule because on the night the Baggies in their final match under Slaven Bilic, experienced the kind of luck that Steve Bruce is all too familiar with. Man City having 77% possession, 26 shots and 13 corners, yet West Brom somehow emerging with that draw despite having only one corner and one shot on target, benefiting from an own goal to earn the point.

That kind of luck rarely happens for most teams and indeed the stats from that West Brom match are very very similar to when Newcastle visited the Etihad last season. Man City had 74% possession, 23 shots and 8 corners, whilst Newcastle had just 1 shot on target and 1 corner, however, Steve Bruce’s only luck on that occasion was Martin Dubravka keeping the score down to 5-0 as Guardiola’s team strolled it.

Commenting on the situation now at St James Park, the Sky Sports expert says: ‘Here they face a Newcastle team that haven’t progressed over the past 12 months. Callum Wilson has added an extra clinical edge but as we saw last season with him, he’s unlikely to sustain this form throughout the campaign. Steve Bruce’s men have been quite fortunate not to suffer back-to-back home defeats to West Brom and Fulham on the balance of both their games and their midweek defeat to Brentford hasn’t gone down well either. Did someone order a thrashing?’

Hmmm, Newcastle fans have for some time feared a thrashing that the underlying stats have promised and to an extent it came in the 5-2 at Leeds BUT I think fair to say that we all fear something even worse than that could be possible, if everything goes wrong in a game against a decent team. With Man City, Liverpool and Leicester coming up in quick succession, that fear is very real.

Interesting to read what the Sky Sports pundit says about Callum Wilson potentially seeing his form / influence tending to fall off later in the season. Newcastle have scored 17 PL goals so far, one an own goal by Man Utd, with then Wilson directly involved in 11 of the other 16, scoring 8 and getting 3 assists.

Looking back at his goalscoring form for Bournemouth, Callum Wilson scored five goals by the end of September 2019 but only three more the rest of the season. The previous season he got 14 PL goals but only four of them after 19 January 2019, whilst 2017/18 saw seven scored by the end of January 2018 and only one more after that.

With strikers of course, so much depends on service and Callum Wilson has scored eight goals despite relying on only scraps when it comes to service. Four of the eight have been from the penalty spot and the latest of those came when Wilson had his first sight of goal after an hour against Fulham and got a rather generous spot-kick awarded following a foul outside the box and a questionable fall to the floor inside it.

I think Newcastle fans are expecting this trip to Manchester City to be painful and the only question is, exactly how painful will it be?

In his press conference ahead of the match, Steve Bruce has said there is no better game to have had after the disappointment at Brentford and that facing Man City is a ‘wonderful opportunity’, well Steve Bruce has carried some extraordinary luck at times with Newcastle but this would surely be by far the most extreme luck, if indeed we do see something ‘wonderful’ on Boxing Day at the Etihad.

Sky Sports – Betting expert ‘Jones Knows’ predicts what will happen on Boxing Day when it is Manchester City v Newcastle United:

“You feel Pep Guardiola is picking and choosing when to play with City’s usual attacking zest and when to rein it in.

“The [1-0] win at Southampton, where they were taking the ball to the corner with five minutes left, certainly felt like a new conservative City. Yet at home against the lesser-ranked teams, City have been more like their old selves in the past month.

“In wins over Fulham and Burnley and the richly unfortunate draw with West Brom, they have registered 60 shots, 43 of those from inside the box which is the most produced by any team in that period.

“Here they face a Newcastle team that haven’t progressed over the past 12 months.

“Callum Wilson has added an extra clinical edge but as we saw last season with him, he’s unlikely to sustain this form throughout the campaign.

“Steve Bruce’s men have been quite fortunate not to suffer back-to-back home defeats to West Brom and Fulham on the balance of both their games and their midweek defeat to Brentford hasn’t gone down well either.

“Did someone order a thrashing?

“JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 5-0.”

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