Newcastle vs Norwich | Tuesday 30th November 2021, 19:30 | Amazon
Excuse the football cliche, but this match really is a six-pointer for both sides. Two new managers go head-to-head at St James’ Park on Tuesday evening in a huge clash at the bottom of the Premier League.
Since Dean Smith’s appointment, Norwich have beaten Southampton and drawn with Wolves. But Eddie Howe is yet to make his mark and his Newcastle side are still awaiting their first win of the season.
No team has conceded more goals at home this season than Newcastle and in each of their last three matches at St James’ Park, The Magpies have conceded three. To add to their defensive troubles, Captain Jamaal Lascelles is suspended for Tuesday’s match so Howe will be forced to make more changes to a backline that’s already unsettled.
Despite all this, Newcastle are odds-on favourites to win the match. This seems bafflingly short given their woeful defensive record and form.
Norwich or Draw at 4/5 is a much more appealing price. For the first time this season, The Canaries are playing with attacking intent, and Norwich’s top scorer Teemu Pukki will fancy his chances of getting on the scoresheet.
Dean Smith has brought Billy Gilmour back into the fold and the Chelsea loanee was named man-of-the-match on Saturday. The youngster is likely to dominate the midfield battle again on Tuesday night.
Norwich kept a clean sheet at the weekend and the team do look more defensively resolute under Dean Smith. Ben Gibson has been excellent since stepping in for the injured Ozan Kabak and Wolves were reduced to just 0.37 XG at the weekend.
However, despite recent defensive performances, it’s hard to ignore the fact that no side has conceded more on their travels this season. Norwich and Newcastle have the two worst defensive records in the league and both side’s have seen attacking improvements in recent weeks.
Norwich have only found the net seven times this season, but five of those goals have come in their last four games. Newcastle scored three in their last home game against Brentford and The Magpies will surely pose a greater attacking threat than they provided at Arsenal on Saturday. Therefore, while quality may be lacking in this game, goals shouldn’t be.
Due to the significance of this match, it promises to be a fiery fixture at St James’ and we can expect cards for both teams on Tuesday night. Newcastle top the yellow cards table this season with 36 from 13 games, whilst Norwich have picked up 27 bookings in the same number of games.