BETTING analyst Adam Wallis (@SharpSignals) shares his verdict on Monday Night Football as Wolves welcome Newcastle to Molineux.
Wolves v Newcastle | Monday 11th February 2019, 20:00 | Sky Sports
Monday Night Football brings Newcastle to high-flying Wolves and the end to Premier League game week 23. The hosts are searching for their fourth straight league win whilst the Magpies are in a relegation battle and in need of the points.
Out of the newly promoted teams, Wolves are showing that they belong in the top-flight. Their defensive metrics are third best in the league behind only Manchester City and Liverpool – it’s those defensive quality which has seen them rise to 7th
But the Old Gold’s defensive figures have regressed and they are now performing as expected. Their Expected Goals figures are still impressive with an xG difference of +0.35 with only the Big Six teams above them, and it’s those stats see them 12 points off sixth-placed Arsenal and 14 points above the drop-zone.
Looking at how Wolves started life in the Premier League, we can see that they started with a high defensive press but have now amended that; this could be down to the fact that they have guaranteed top-flight football next season so may be looking at ways in which they can improve.
Wolves have won their last two home matches scoring over three goals in each of those wins. Newcastle are going to make this tough as they are fighting for survival, but the pressure is off the hosts here, which may see them grab a fourth successive win.
Watching Rafa Benitez’s men play, you wouldn’t think they were in a six-team battle for
17th and safety as they do have the right attitude instilled in them by their Spanish boss, and that shows on the pitch.
The Magpies have not won in four games on their travels though the fixture list has not been kind. The Toon’s last win away was against fellow strugglers Huddersfield but then followed trips to Liverpool (4-0), Chelsea (2-1) and Tottenham (1-0) with Newcastle grabbing a draw with Watford (1-1) who are just one point behind Monday’s opponents.
Regardless of league position, Newcastle will be drilled to go out and play as they have and look to win rather than draw this match. Miguel Almiron has been grated a work permit and could feature but they still have a few injury worries, including Jonjo Shelvey.
The Toon need some luck and they will be looking to try and take a foothold by taking the game to Wolves.
A really tough match to call with very different mentalities for each team. I think Wolves will soak up the Newcastle pressure and look to catch them on the counter attack.
Expected Goals and the market favors Wolves and rightly so, with the Asian Handicap set at 0.75 and goal line at 2.25. The goal line is surprising considering Wolves have seen Over 2.5 Goals in their last four Premier League games.
I think due to the importance of this game to Newcastle, and Wolves looking for that fourth straight win, goals will be hard to come by with a Wolves clean sheet looking the way to go.