Newcastle v Maritimo: Back the Toon with a big handicap

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Newcastle must surely pick up the three points required to ensure their post-Christmas participation in the Europa League against a Maritimo side who have amassed just nine points in the Portuguese league and are yet to win in this competition.

The Magpies might not be in the best of form, but this shouldn’t deter punters from lumping on their odds of 4/9, while any positive result for Maritimo – the draw at 3/1 and win at 7’s – can be completely disregarded.

The visitors have found the back of the net just once in four Europa League outings and have shipped six goals without reply in their two previous away fixtures; one in the league, one in Europe.

In nine league games they’ve scored a pitiful five goals; surely all Newcastle have to do is beat their keeper once and the game is as good as won.

At 10/3, the Toon have got to be worth a bet with a two-goal handicap applied as they bid to seal qualification in style, while a price of 6/5 for them to win giving the visitors a goal head start is an investment that’s sure to see backers reap rewards.

Alan Pardew’s men have won their last eight at St James’ Park in UEFA competition and have not lost a home tie in what is now known as the Europa League since the 1996/97 semi-final – an impressive 24 games ago.

All the stats point to Newcastle dishing out a beating here and a win to nil offers incredible value at 11/8, while the 11/10 available just for them to keep a clean sheet – they’ve kept three in their last four group games – is also money in the bank.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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