Newcastle registered their fifth away victory of the season at Selhurst Park, easing past a Crystal Palace side that have been resurgent under the stewardship of new manager Tony Pulis in recent weeks.
The professionalism of the performance in terrible conditions showed all the hallmarks of a team that has the staying power to challenge for the top six this term.
The Magpies are a 12/1 shot to finish in the upper sextet of the division and that is a price that should be snaffled before it shortens over the festive period.
That price is as it is thanks to the strength of the top-flight this year, with as many as nine teams being touted as candidates to achieve the above finish.
Alan Pardew’s men already sit sixth going into Christmas and their fixtures heading into the New Year will offer supporters great encouragement.
On Boxing Day they host a Stoke outfit with just one victory on their travels and who have taken three points from St James’ Park once in eight attempts.
The Toon’s home record has just one blotch, a loss to Hull earlier in the campaign and they take on Arsenal in front of the Gallowgate three days after the visit of the Potters.
The Gunners are enduring a mini-slump at present and with a difficult match against Chelsea and a trip to Upton Park prior to this contest they could head to the north-east amidst a real confidence crisis.
The New Year brings a trip to West Brom for the Geordies. The Baggies have won only once at home this term, while Newcastle have tasted defeat in a single league game in 12 visits to the Hawthorns.
A points haul of six or more is almost sure to see Newcastle enter 2014 as part of the top six and with additions in January they will only get stronger.
If their key men stay fit and at the club then it is difficult to find a more enticing bet than an unlikely lofty finish for the Black and Whites.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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