CHAMPIONSHIP specialist Vince Blissett (@Vince_RFC) shares his verdict from Friday’s clash between Cardiff and Newcastle.
Cardiff v Newcastle | Friday 19:45 | Sky Sports 1
Newcastle picked up the win on Monday night that sealed their immediate return to the Premier League. But after a poor run Toon find themselves four points adrift of Brighton so need a win here to stand any chance of taking the title.
Last week Brighton sealed promotion and I was wary of backing them away from home as a result on Friday night, which proved a good decision. I’m not wary of backing Newcastle in the same way though with the Magpies looking good value to put the pressure on the Seagulls ahead of their fixture on Saturday evening.
The opposition comes in the form of Cardiff. The Bluebirds have recovered from a poor start and are right in mid-table. Neill Warnock has to take a lot of credit; he’s made City into a classic Warnock-side – dogged would probably be the right word to use. They’re unspectacular but picking up points.
The basis of Cardiff’s climb is undoubtedly theor home form. The capital club, have seen lost just once on home turf since the turn of the year, including winning their last three. As you’d expect from Warnock, the hosts boast a good defensive record, conceding just two goals in their last five fixtures.
The problem is that goals are also in short supply with just three scored in five.
A title to be won
Newcastle have been in the news for the wrong reasons this week but I can’t see that having an effect on the pitch. With promotion secured I wouldn’t be surprised if the shackles come off a bit and they play with a bit of freedom and confidence.
The title is still there to be won but deep down we all know Brighton will most likely wrap it up on Saturday regardless and Newcastle will know that too. Cardiff will make things tough I’m sure but the Magpies have been priced up at over evens and that’s an appealing price.
Newcastle have the best away record in the league by a fairly big margin, chalking up 13 wins in the process.
The betting angle
Three of those triumphs have finished 1-0 to the away side but even with Cardiff’s defensive record I can’t see them limiting the Magpies to the one goal.
With that in mind, I’m going to boost the away win odds by adding in Over 1.5 Goals with BetStars who are offering a generous looking 31/20.
Cardiff v Newcastle – Newcastle to win and Over 1.5 Goals (31/20 BetStars)