CHAMPIONSHIP specialist Vince Blissett (@Vince_RFC) shares his verdict from Good Friday’s clash between Newcastle and Leeds.
Newcastle v Leeds | Good Friday 19:45 | Sky Sports
Newcastle are a tricky team to work out on a game-to-game basis, which is an achievement given the position they are in.
Are they a good team? Yes. Are they are as good as they should be? Possibly not. Can you trust them to win games? No.
Toon crawling over the line
A loss last weekend at Sheffield Wednesday handed Brighton the advantage in the title race and the Magies could find themselves five points behind Albion come kick-off time here.
The Toon seem to be stumbling along towards the finish line with two wins in their last six outings, both narrow at St James’ Park against relegation-threatened Burton and Wigan.
Leeds rocky road record
Leeds, on the other hand, comfortably saw off Preston at Elland Road last weekend, which was much needed after two away defeats preceding that clash.
The Whites’ away form isn’t great at the moment though so maybe not as much can be read into that than at first glance.
Can the Magpies control Wood?
Leeds will no doubt employ the tactics that have served them well so far this season.
They’ll sit back and look to contain and frustrate Newcastle before looking for the long ball up to Chris Wood to either create openings for himself or to hold the ball up while waiting for support to arrive.
If the Magpies can keep Wood quiet they have every chance of taking the spoils.
The betting angle
Dwight Gayle is out injured once again which is a blow but Newcastle still have enough firepower to cause problems against a defence that has kept just three clean sheets on the road.
Leeds have lost nine times away from Elland Road including at Brighton, Huddersfield and Reading. And even though they can’t always be trusted, I can see Newcastle adding their name to the list.
At 4/6 though I’ve no interest in the outright market. I can see it being a tight, edgy, bruising affair, low on quality and goals so I’m going to boost the odds by saying that Newcastle will win by a single goal at 5/2 with SkyBet.
Newcastle v Leeds – Newcastle to win by one goal (5/2 SkyBet)
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