Sunderland vs Newcastle betting preview 19/08/2011
Arsenal and Liverpool may have both started the season with draws but after a week of turbulence on and off the pitch, only one of these clubs will go into this clash with heads held high.
Sunderland vs Newcastle odds
Sunderland: League Position: 5th, League Form: D
Sunderland have had a busy summer as Steve Bruce strives to replace Harry Redknapp as the Premier League’s top wheeler dealer. Ten new signings have come into the side, freshening up a squad that went stale after Darren Bent left in the January transfer window, and the Black Cats won only one of their final nine home games of last season.
Only two of those new signings started their fantastic away draw against Liverpool, goalscorer Seb Larsson and experienced defender Wes Brown, both impressing (with David Vaughan and Dong Win Ji appearing from the bench). Having been overwhelmed by Liverpool in the first half, Bruce’s side recovered to defend strongly and outplay their opposition, and can be pleased with both performance and point.
Playing a 4-4-1-1 formation, with Sessegnon supporting lone man Gyan, it will be interesting to see whether Bruce will try a more attacking system at home, against a weaker side than Liverpool and in a game full of crowd anticipation. Relatively unknown Dong Win Ji and £13 million Conor Wickham are their other striking options, but it seems more likely Bruce will prefer numbers in midfield to make sure his side can maintain structure and control in the middle of the park.
Newcastle: League Position: 9th, League Form: D
The rollercoaster tale of Newcastle United continues to wind on and on. After losing club captain Kevin Nolan to relegated West Ham in the summer, Joey Barton was then declared free to leave the club for no fee. Even a fantastic, gritty draw at home to Arsenal was overshadowed by the behaviour of Joey Barton, stamped on by Alex Song, then involved in a fracas with Gervinho, grabbing the Arsenal player before collapsing to the floor after weak contact was made to his face.
Looking at the footballing performance, Newcastle were solid without being spectacular, not really threatening the Arsenal goal but also coping with all the attacking heavyweights threw at them brilliantly. Steven Taylor was notably much improved in this game from his performances last season, much happier now he seems wanted again by the club. The resilience of the side may have surprised some, but Newcastle are nothing if not inconsistent.
Five new signings, all with French as their first language, have been brought in, only two with Premier League experience. Cabaye and Marveaux in midfield are interesting prospects if they settle into English football, but Demba Ba could be the star signing, a forward to replace Andy Carroll. Seven goals in 12 games at relegated West Ham, Ba has come in for no fee and can build on his half a season with the Hammers and be a real threat for Newcastle.
Match Prediction: DRAW 3.4 – Blue Square
The history of this fixture shows goals are forthcoming. The two clubs have not played out a goalless draw since the Premier League began, with the fixture averaging 2.8 goals per match, 50 goals coming from the 18 games. Sunderland have only won once in the last 13 games, back in 2008, and the atmosphere will, as ever, be at a fervent height.
Looking at their opening matches, both teams came out looking strong in defence, with Wes Brown and Steven Taylor standing out for Sunderland and Newcastle respectively. The weight of expectancy will now be on Asamoah Gyan and Demba Ba to get their goalscoring campaigns off to a start. However, a man unpopular and unheralded everywhere except Newcastle has netted six times in 10 games against Sunderland, including four in his last four Tyne/Wear derby appearances, and that man is Shola Ameobi. The Geordie stalwart, who started last weekend, seems a value punt at 9.00 for the first goal.
Sunderland, with their poor record, may be more concerned with not losing and could set up to be solid in midfield and prevent Newcastle controlling the play. But these games open up, played at the frantic pace all fierce English derbies are, and expect both teams to score. Sunderland have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last 22 meetings with Newcastle, yet Newcastle have won just one of their last nine away Premier League matches.
Over/Under: Over 2.5 Goals – 2.2 Boylesports
First Goalscorer: Shola Ameobi – 9.00 Sporting Bet
Correct Score: 2-2 Draw – 17.00 William Hill
Score Draw: Yes – 4.33 Coral
Both teams to score: Yes – 1.91 Sky Bet
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