Newcastle United vs. Everton FC
Saturday, March 5th 2011, 16.00 CET
Although it’s not the highlight of the Premier League this weekend (in favour of Liverpool – Man Utd, of course), the clash between Newcastle United and Everton FC looks promising. I’ve read a lot of debates on the sportsbetting forums last evening and this morning about this game, so I’m eager to share my point of view. Lately, the odds dropped for Newcastle amids comments on the forums that it was not fair for the teams to be rated evenly.
Newcastle United, a team well-rested before tonight’s game, but without a strong morale: during their last 6 games (all in PL), they won one (away against Birmingham on 15.02), lost one (away against Fulham on 02.02) and drew 4 times. Their game against Arsenal on 05.02 (home, score 4-4) was a blast, and Newcastle really showed that they can take on anyone while home. They did tie against Bolton at home recently though, but playing in 10 in the last 45 minutes.
Here’s something to think about: Newcastle haven’t lost to Everton since a 1-0 defeat in the 2000/2001 season! They’re on the 9th place in Premier League at the moment with 4 wins, 6 draws and 4 losses. That’s not that bad, and they’re a point away from the 7th place, so winning tonight should be a chance not to be missed.
They’re missing a lot of players though. As one gambling site put it, “the injury list looks like something from the American civil war”. Let’s take a look at the likely absentees:
- Shola Ameobi (broken cheek)
- Joey Barton, likely to be absent but I’m not sure. His negociations with the club aren’t going very well and he missed the last game.
- Hatem Ben Arfa, likely to be absent as well.
- Ryan Taylor, suspended.
- Dan Gosling
- Danny Guthrie
- Stephen Ireland
- Tamas Kadar
- Alan Smith
Overall, Newcastle United has great team spirit when they need to (we’ve seen that against Arsenal), they’re well rested and they’re playing home. Plus, out of the last 10 home games, they only lost twice!
Everton FC seems to have more problems than their rivals before tonight’s game. They lost away against Reading just 2 days ago with one goal difference in an FA Cup match, so their morale is bad. Two day’s is not enough to get ready for a game when playing at this level, but Everton proved to be unpredictable many times. After an away game lost 2-0 against Bolton, they beat Chelsea away 4-5! And looking at how unpredictable the Premier League has been this season, no result should be looked over!
The team have their own problems though: they lost 3 out of the last 4 away matches, and they have to deal with important injuries. I’m talking about two major injuries:
- Marouane Fellaini, out with an ankle injury.
- Tim Cahill, out with a foot injury.
With these players out, Everton’s coach doesn’t have many bright options to put on the attack. And it was obvious this season that Everton often had problems with their strikers. And they’re on the 11th place in the Premier League. And as the season closes in, they are pretty much clear from relegation, but they’re a lot of teams above them, so no chance in getting in the top 6 this season.
I’m glad the bookies sorted out this game and made Newcastle the favourites. Despite their many injuries, I think they have the right motivation and the right support from their fans to end the evening with a victory today. I’m betting 2 units on Newcastle to win (2.5 on Bwin), and 2 units on Over 2.5 goals (2.2 odds on Bwin).
Prediction: Newcastle to win for 2 units and over 2.5 for 2 units