Stay with Newcastle

January 13th, 2018 | Ian Carnaby's Sports News

Breaking your own rules is often costly when it comes to betting and the FA Cup did me no favours last weekend, Watford’s easy victory against an overburdened Bristol City the only correct call. At least I managed to avoid Aston Villa v Peterborough, where the visitors won tidily enough against opposition clearly thinking in terms of the Premier League.

Nottingham Forest v Arsenal was a very strange game indeed, with Arsene Wenger’s largely inexperienced side trying to win at their own chosen pace, only to find Forest’s youngsters well and truly up for it. People often think a league victory will follow as a matter of course but it doesn’t work like that and I suspect Villa will achieve at least a draw when they go to the City Ground for the televised Championship match on Saturday. Bristol City v Norwich is another game to avoid.

The Newcastle-Brighton match was a poor affair a fortnight ago and a goalless draw looked about right. But Newcastle leave the distinct impression that they will ease clear of trouble and, of course, it helps that they have a top-class man in charge. I know Swansea are fighting for every point and they have made things difficult for the opposition in several away games this season but an away point here and there will not be enough as the relegation battle hots up. Perez looks particularly sharp for NEWCASTLE at present and they can win this in style.

As I mentioned a while back, I believe there are enough quality players to keep Southampton up but things should never have reached this stage, the chronic weakness in front of goal and the Van Dijk situation dating back to last summer. So much depends on the January window and who gets to spend the money. What is the point in expressing support for Pellegrino if he can’t choose the players he wants? The Watford game will be tense, nervy and not for the faint-hearted

Unlike Pellegrino, Alan Pardew will probably be trusted to haul West Brom clear of danger. They can’t score and are enduring a desperate run but have looked very unlucky in two or three games lately. They strolled past Exeter in the Cup, which will have helped morale, and the home game against Brighton comes at the right time. Again, not one for those Baggies fans with a dicky ticker but it looks a possible 1-0 to me and I’m prepared to back WEST BROM to cheer the faithful. Modest stakes, though.

I’d accept a shade of odds-on about Newcastle and some 11/8 or better West Brom.

NEWCASTLE 30 units at 10/11 to beat Swansea

WEST BROM 20 units at 11/8 to beat Brighton