NEWCASTLE host Liverpool on Wednesday night. Jack Wright (@JackWright_BSB ) is on-hand to preview the match-up.
Newcastle vs Liverpool | Wednesday 30th December 2020, 20:00 | Amazon Prime
Liverpool extended their mammoth unbeaten home league record after their 1-1 draw with West Brom on Sunday but will be kicking themselves at passing up the chance to extend their four-point lead at the top of the Premier League table in a game they dominated with 78% of the ball.
Sam Allardyce and his men certainly didn’t make it look pretty but who can argue that it wasn’t effective and I would imagine most Baggies fans would’ve taken a point going in to arguably the hardest game of their season. Will that serve as a template to follow for one of Big Sam’s buddies as Steve Bruce looks to eek a positive result out of this match up at St. James’ Park?
The Toon lost their Boxing Day fixture for a Premier League record 15th time – albeit a tough assignment at The Etihad where they saw 25% possession – and so on that basis it's hard to see the Unibet line of Liverpool having over 68.5% total ball possession at odds of 17/20 not landing.
The home side don’t have much room for rotation as they look to avoid defeat against Jurgen Klopp’s side for the first time in six attempts where they have scored four goals whilst conceding 15, they have also not won any of their last four competitive fixtures and they have conceded at least one goal in each of their last 11 EPL games. The omens do not look good!
Now unbeaten in 11 league games, Liverpool are understandably a warm order, as short as 1/4 with SkyBet, but despite winning those last five head to heads against Newcastle they have conceded in each of their last six visits to St. James’ Park – and this looks a great way of getting the champions onside at a fair price with Betway who are offering odds of 9/5 for a Liverpool win and Both Teams To Score.
However, if there is an area of weakness that the Geordies will look to exploit it will be with the visitors injury problems in central defence with Joel Matip adding his name to a casualty list which already counts Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez amongst its number.
This could see Rhys Williams and Fabinho renew their partnership which in turn may mean Newcastle will look to exploit their potential aerial supremacy.
One man who could be crucial to this is Joelinton who wins on average 3.2 aerials per game and manages a headed shot every 88.9 minutes this season, including eight in his last five appearances.
As with most underdogs we should expect the Magpies to be well drilled with a focus on set piece plays so as a result the 9/1 on offer with Paddy Power for Joelinton to have a headed shot on target looks a decent price and is the best at time of writing.
A couple of books who usually price this market have not done so as yet so it may be worth checking with the likes of SkyBet prior to placing – also it would be shrewd to wait on team news as there will be no cash out or void bet if Joelinton doesn’t start but comes off the bench to play some small part.
Newcastle vs Liverpool – Liverpool to win and both teams to score (9/5 Betway)
Newcastle vs Liverpool – Joelinton to have 1 or more headed shots on target (9/1 Paddy Power)