Premier League betting preview: Newcastle can prove tough to crack
Michael Holden is one of the UK's leading football betting tipsters. A former casino croupier with a deep-rooted curiosity in statistics and probabilities, his passion for betting on the beautiful game stretches back more than two decades. Since graduating as a journalist from the University of Central Lancashire in 2005, he has delivered consistent profits for his legion of followers on Sportinglife.com and produced many groundbreaking feature articles on the application of social science in a football betting context. He is now the editor of Bestofthebets.com having orchestrated the design, build and launch of the new sports betting website for Gaming Media Group during the summer of 2011.
Thursday 17 November 2011
The Premier League's two remaining unbeaten records will be on the line at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday and it could be worth investing in a slow-burner between Manchester City and Newcastle with a bet on the 0-0 half-time correct score at 11/4.
City are widely-expected to extend their lead at the top of the table ahead of Manchester United's televised match at Swansea, but we shouldn't expect Newcastle to surrender their proud start cheaply. The Magpies have surprised many by reaching the season's third international break without a league defeat and we shouldn't underestimate the role that this latest two-week lay-off might have on the complexion of this game.
With Edin Dzeko playing as the lone front man for the entireity of Bosnia's Euro 2012 play-off double-header with Portugal and Sergio Aguero involved in Argentina's World Cup qualifying win over Colombia in the early hours of Wednesday morning, City might not be quite as sprightly in the final third as they have been ever since their 6-1 mauling of arch-rivals at Old Trafford.
Meanwhile, another significant absentee could be David Silva whose rebirth in the Spanish national side took him to Costa Rica on the back of last Saturday's defeat at Wembley.
Robtero Mancini has never made any secret of his frustration in such scenarios and given the hand that he has been dealt, it seems most likely that he will turn to Mario Balotelli to lead the attack, flanked by Samir Nasri and Adam Johnson. By no means is that a sub-standard front three, but it is one of the lesser developed combinations and it does at least put Alan Pardew in a position whereby he can prepare his team in finer detail than most, at least for the initial phase of the match.
Mancini, of course, has the luxury of being able to mix things up later in the game and any of those aforementioned luxuries can change the pattern of the game in a 20-minute cameo but Pardew might be inclined to take his chances on keeping things tight until that point, condensing the contest into a smaller timeframe when a swift counter or a timely set piece is much more likely to deliver maximum reward.
The case for this bet is only enhanced by City's first-half record at home so far with Swansea, Everton and Wolves all reaching the interval intact, while Newcastle have shown no shortage of resolve over 45 minutes with clean sheets in four of their five away games up to this point.
1pt Man City v Newcastle to be goalless at half-time at 11/4 (general)
For more betting news and views, please visit Bestofthebets.com
Latest in Sport
Manchester United transfer news: United given new hope in race for Juan Cuadrado as Barcelona talks stall
Arturo Vidal to Manchester United: Midfielder set to force through move to Louis van Gaal's Red Devils - reports
Manchester United transfer news: Mats Hummels, Daley Blind and Thomas Vermaelen on radar as Louis van Gaal reveals he still wants to sign defender
Liverpool transfer news: Brendan Rodgers plans more Anfield signings this summer
Chelsea transfer news: Jose Mourinho confirms Fernando Torres is staying at Stamford Bridge
- 1 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 Kelsey Grammer forgives the man who raped and murdered his sister in 1975
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us