THE Premier League continues this Sunday as Newcastle welcome Manchester United to St James’ Park. Ben Levene (@BenLevene96) shares his best bets.
Newcastle v Manchester United| Sunday 11th February 2018, 14:15 | Sky Sports
The unstable ownership situation at Newcastle means that Rafa Benitez goes into the second-half of the season with less resources than he’d have ideally wanted.
Deadline day addition Islam Slimani could make his debut this Sunday, and may suit the Toon style of play, as they opt to frustrate and then play forwards early. The Algerian has shown his physical and aerial traits during his short-time in England, and will aid Benitez’s side in making the ball stick.
Much publicity was given to the defensive nature in which Newcastle approached their 1-0 home loss to Man City. They sat extremely deep, and they did similar in a 1-1 draw with Liverpool earlier in the season. On the opening day of the season, Newcastle held out against Spurs until reduced to ten-men.
They are tough to beat, but winning games has been an issue. They’ve lost just one of their last six, but have drawn four games in that period. At St James’ Park they’ve struggled and are eight games without a win, last picking up three-points at home in October.
Old issues seem to have returned for Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, as the early season goals have deserted them. Before their defeat to Spurs in their last away trip, Utd were seven away games unbeaten, winning six.
Utd have kept five clean sheets in their last six. Six of Newcastle’s last seven games have seen under 2.5 goals, as have their last five at home. Given the approaches of both sides, goals could be hard to come by again. United’s last six wins have come with under 3.5 goals in the match.
Interestingly, four of United’s last five matches with non top-six opposition have been goalless at the break. We’re offered 6/5 that the first goal comes after the 29th minute, and that looks pretty good value. Newcastle have held out beyond this mark in seven consecutive games.
Newcastle v Manchester United – First goal after the 29th minute (6/5 Paddy Power)
Newcastle v Manchester United – Manchester United win & under 3.5 goals (13/10 Boylesports)