Prediction & odds for the game: Rochdale (4/1) v Newcastle (13/20)
When: Saturday, 4th January 2020 @ 12.31pm K.O
Where: Spotland Stadium
Rochdale will attempt to cause an upset when they host Newcastle United in the third round of the FA Cup this weekend.
While they may be struggling down towards the bottom of League 1 this season, third tier Rochdale are causing a bit of noise as they attempt to overcome Newcastle United this weekend. They’re a side that are well known for being ever-present members of the Football League without ever really ascending to notable heights beyond that. This is a club that could live off of a big upset for a long, long time, and the Magpies could be the perfect foil for them on third round weekend.
It’s been a hectic month for the majority of clubs across English football and the same was certainly true for Rochdale. They were able to put together back to back wins at the start of December against Rotherham in the league and Boston United in the cup, but a tough eight-day period soon followed in which they lost three games to Burton, Fleetwood and Gillingham. They did beat Accrington 2-1 on New Year’s Day, though, easing their relegation concerns in the process.
The reviews are in for Steve Bruce’s start to life as Newcastle United manager, and for the most part, it’s come back with “slightly better than expected, but still mixed”. They may not be facing any sort of immediate threat in regards to the relegation battle, but they certainly haven’t been able to string together any kind of consistency in the Premier League so far this season. The FA Cup hasn’t been their friend in the past, but they should still consider putting everything they’ve got into making a good go of it.
The wins over Southampton and Crystal Palace in December are looking progressively more impressive with both sides doing well this season. However, four losses in five against Burnley, Manchester United, Everton and Leicester has drained this Newcastle side of a lot of confidence.
Rochdale are going to be plucky and we actually think they may even take the lead in this one, but in the end, it won’t matter as Newcastle run out as winners and take their place in the fourth round. While we still get some notable upsets here and there they are quite few and far between, and we just can’t picture them getting the job done. It’s going to be entertaining as the games chosen for TV coverage usually are in the FA Cup, but that’s where the excitement will end for the underdogs.
As a result of the aforementioned entertainment, we do believe that there will be over 2.5 goals scored in the game.
Verdict: Back the away win at odds of 13/20 and the over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 4/5. (All odds are taken from bet365).