Newcastle to pull clear again

February 18th, 2017 | Ian Carnaby's Sports News

Only a last-minute equaliser for West Brom at West Ham denied us three out of three last week and I am very happy with the way things are going. I was hoping the mixed bag of fixtures this weekend would offer something similar but in fact bets are few and far between.

There is little or nothing at a workable price in the FA Cup. I suppose, if you were looking for an upset, Fulham could catch Tottenham at the right time because Spurs have been busy enough of late and there is now a distinct chance that they will fall between various stools. Turning things around against Gent will not be easy and Chelsea will have to capitulate in spades to let them in with a shout in the Premier League. Fulham are coming good at last but I’d want quite a bit more than 7/2.

Turning to the Championship, we can see that Neil Warnock is doing the business at CARDIFF and they should account for Rotherham, although the bottom club defended well for a long time in a poor game at Bristol City recently. The Bluebirds are backable but no one should accept shorter than 1 to 2.

I still think NEWCASTLE will go clear again at the top, though when you have a sizeable bet at 2/1 for the title you can live without niggling doubts. I wish Mike Ashley would simply let Rafa Benitez get on with it but the Spaniard is not committing himself beyond the end of this season, almost certainly because he will not have a free hand in the transfer market.

They should beat Aston Villa on Monday night, the visitors having fallen off again after a brief surge, and the situation will look even better if Brighton fail to take anything from their visit to Barnsley. The football world is about to sit up and take notice of the job Paul Heckingbottom is doing and this is a chance for them to underline the progress being made. They have beaten Leeds and Villa lately as well as holding Reading 0-0 away. Brighton are clinging on but there are many cards still to be played in this division and I wouldn’t have them down as hot favourites to join Newcastle in the ‘automatic’ bracket just yet. I thought Sheffield Wednesday should have beaten them at the Amex, for example. Anyway, BARNSLEY are value at 11/4 to small money with Hills.

CARDIFF 25 units at 1 to 2 to beat Rotherham
NEWCASTLE 20 units at 8/13 to beat Aston Villa
BARNSLEY 10 units at 11/4 to beat Brighton

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