Newcastle United will host Wolverhampton Wanderers as both teams aim to drag themselves further and further away from the relegation zone.
The appointment of Steve Bruce was always going to cause some controversy, as you’d probably expect, and aside from one or two surprising results they haven’t really been able to make all too much of an impact. The squad needs a complete overhaul and if they’re able to stay in the Premier League this season, they’ll consider that to be a good year. Bruce is in a tough position but the fans just aren’t happy, and there’s no point in trying to ignore that anymore.
It’s bizarre to say it, but Newcastle’s only win in their last six games came against Manchester United – which is something that few could’ve anticipated. They did manage to pick up a few important draws against Brighton & Watford, but they couldn’t avoid defeat against Chelsea, Liverpool and Leicester City, all of whom are having tremendous seasons.
Nuno’s men have had an insanely busy schedule as of late, especially with their Europa League journey, but at this moment in time they’re passing every single test that comes their way. The fact that they have to balance all of these competitions is bad enough, but they’ve also got the weight of an entire city resting on their shoulders. Whether or not they’re able to sustain that kind of momentum remains to be seen, but let’s not forget that second season syndrome is an ever-present threat.
Wolves’ recent unbeaten run has been a huge vindication of Nuno stating that they would come good eventually. They drew against Southampton and only beat Reading on penalties, but they’ve had four other big wins aside from that. They secured back to back away wins in Europe against Slovan Bratislava and Besiktas, whilst also beating champions Manchester City and Watford in the league.
Wolves always seem to struggle from pillar to post with games against teams like Newcastle. They need to be able to get into a rhythm early on because if they don’t, there’s a good chance they’re going to slip up. However, we do believe they’ll get the job done, if only because they’ve got so much firepower that seems odd to think they won’t be able to get themselves over the finish line. It’ll be fairly close, but we don’t see any areas in which the Magpies are able to push Nuno’s men to the limit.
We don’t think it’s going to be a massive goalfest by any stretch of the imagination, with Wolves probably edging out the win and getting the under 2.5 goals in the process – with a clean sheet to take home.
Verdict: Back the away win at odds of 8/5 and the under 2.5 goals scored at odds of 8/15. (All odds are taken from bet365).