ALEX JONES (@AlexJ0nes9) analyses the odds as Newport and Newcastle lock horns in the 4th Round of the League Cup on Thursday night.
Newport vs Newcastle | Wednesday 30th September 2020, 17:30 | Sky Sports
Newcastle travel to Newport in the hope of moving a step closer to their first ever League Cup trophy.
Steve Bruce’s men recorded a huge 7-0 away win in the last round against Morecambe, the first time they have scored seven on the road since 1993. Fielding a strong starting XI that night, Steve Bruce is clearly going for some silverware this year, in an attempt to bring something to cheer about to Tyneside after a torrid few years of Mike Ashley ownership and a failed takeover.
A trophy would be most welcome in the north-east where silverware have been absent for decades. They face a tough trip to Newport first, where the League Two side sit third in the league table and in buoyant mood ahead of hosting the Premier League outfit.
Tristan Abrahams to impress
Newport frontman Tristan Abrahams has bagged five goals in five starts this season, including against both Championship clubs they have played in this competition thus far, Swansea and Watford. Those goals accumulate to half the total he achieved in 46 games in all competitions last season, with 10 to his name, with only four in League Two.
Best priced at 15/4 with GentingBet to score anytime – Newport’s number 11 poses a great threat to The Magpies on Wednesday evening, if the Newport midfield can give him the service required.
I couldn’t put anyone off his goalscorer price, but I am instead going to take a slightly safer angle in my opinion and play his shot prices with SkyBet. Abrahams has averaged 2.3 shots per-game in League Two this season, managing three in the previous round against Watford. Sky have him priced at 13/8 for three or more, and 4/1 for four or more.
The 21-year-old managed four shots against West Ham in the Carabao Cup last year, where Newport were defeated 2-0. He gets into great shooting opportunities, and he is also on penalty kicks, as was shown when he notched from the spot against Watford in the last round.
After picking up his brace away to Bolton last weekend, Abrahams should be in confident mood to try and impress in front of Premier League opposition. Newport manager Michael Flynn has since spoken about his potential to play at a higher level. It is Flynn’s second season managing the striker after he was released by Norwich, who had spotted his potential when just 18. He is their man in-form, but it is not just Abrahams who is keen to shoot this season.
Newport themselves have been shooting a lot more this season, which has seen them win four of their six games thus far. They have averaged 17 shots this season in all competitions, managing 12 against Swansea and 14 against Watford in this competition.
As previously mentioned, they were dumped out of the Carabao Cup by Premier League West Ham last season, with Abrahams and Padraig Amond both starting up top, and managed 13 shots against a fairly strong Hammers side.
As for Newcastle, whilst looking resolute and organised against Spurs last weekend, a game where a lucky penalty decision went their way, they conceded a whopping 23 shots. Karl Darlow was in fine form making 12 saves that afternoon, and with the former Nottingham Forest goalkeeper currently the number 1 on Tyneside, Newport will want to test second-string keeper Mark Gillespie. As well, Newcastle have conceded an average of 14.2 shots already this season.
Newport boss Flynn has emphasised the club’s desire to reach the quarter-finals and has expressed his side’s need to play on the front foot and to go at The Magpies. The longer the game stays a stalemate, or if Newport were to fall behind, the more chance of shots for Newport as they get more desperate.
Considering the averages and statistics onside, I will dabble on 13 or more shots at 5/1 but with low stakes. I am confident of them hitting the 10+ mark though, unless the game sake goes terribly against us.
This is a whole different test for Newcastle. Despite Newport sitting in the same league as Morecambe, who Newcastle demolished just a week ago, they have a much stronger squad and a lot of belief they can defeat Newcastle after such strong performances so far this season.
It is the Exiles’ third game in eight days, but I’m not worried about their preparation for this match, with their sights firmly set on a first ever quarter-final clash. The Magpies will certainly have to be focussed on their own aspirations of a trophy when they visit Rodney Parade.