Sky Sports expert has some very uncomfortable reading for Newcastle fans ahead of Sheff Utd match
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 and insight, not lazy assumptions.
The Sky Sports ‘Jones Knows’ column looks at the matches from a betting perspective and has been scratching beneath the surface of Sheffield United and Newcastle United, especially NUFC!
Steve Bruce was asked at his press conference whether after seven games without a win and only one goal in eight hours, his team 15th in the table, Newcastle United were now in a relegation battle. Bruce replied that NUFC definitely weren’t battling relegation at the minute because they had an eight point gap to third bottom.
Sky Sports expert sees that very differently: ‘Steve Bruce’s men might sit in relative comfort, eight points above the drop – but safe from relegation they are not. Sky Bet have them at just 100/30 to fall through the trap door as the traders seem to firmly believe the distinctly average performance levels seen from Bruce’s boys will catch up with them in the second half of the season. I agree.’
Predicting that the ‘season starts here’ for Sheffield United with a 1-0 win tonight, the Sky Sports man declares: ‘I still firmly believe Sheffield United are the better of these two teams, despite their precarious form and league position. If these two played this fixture 10 times, the Blades would win more than they’d lose.’
This seven match run without a win has coincided with the absence of Allan Saint-Maximin and the Sky Sports betting expert is keen to flag up ASM’s importance to Newcastle in away matches. Newcastle United have played 26 Premier League away games since Steve Bruce and ASM arrived at the club, winning one of twelve (8 per cent) when missing Saint-Maximin, whereas it is six of fourteen (43 per cent) with the winger in the side away from home.
Indeed, in 54 Premier League matches, home and away, Steve Bruce has only won one when ASM didn’t start.
The Sky Sports man saying that without the winger, Newcastle find it ‘hard to get out’ in away games and launch attacks. Elsewhere, other analysis of goalkeeper distribution shows that Steve Bruce has Karl Darlow averaging only three short passes on average each Premier League match but 22 long passes, with almost two thirds of those not even finding a NUFC head / body.
Steve Bruce keeps claiming to a disbelieving public that major progress has been made in terms of the team playing a more attacking and attractive playing style. If Newcastle can’t show this against a bottom of the table side with only two points from 17 games and even worse…actually provide Sheffield United with their first PL win in over six months, surely even Bruce will start to hear the relegation warning bells. Won’t he?
Sky Sports – Betting expert ‘Jones Knows’ predicts what will happen with Sheffield United v Newcastle United:
“Steve Bruce’s men might sit in relative comfort, eight points above the drop – but safe from relegation they are not.
“Sky Bet have them at just 100/30 to fall through the trap door as the traders seem to firmly believe the distinctly average performance levels seen from Bruce’s boys will catch up with them in the second half of the season. I agree.
“The continued absence of Allan Saint-Maximin makes it very hard to put faith in the Toon to get a positive result on the road, even against a team with no Premier League victory this season. He is vital to the way they construct attacks from their deep-lying defensive shape. Without him, it’s hard to get out.
“In the 12 games without him away from home, Newcastle have a win percentage of just 8.3 per cent. Contrast that to the 14 games with him in the side on the road and Newcastle boast a monstrous 42.9 win percentage.
“I still firmly believe Sheffield United are the better of these two teams, despite their precarious form and league position.
“If these two played this fixture 10 times, the Blades would win more than they’d lose.
“Yes, two points from 17 games is the joint worst start made by any side in English football but confidence could just be returning after breaking a 22-game winless run against Bristol Rovers in the FA Cup. Once they start scoring the first goal in games, the Blades will start to pick up results. Their season starts here.
“JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 1-0.”
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