Defeat to Leeds leaves Toon the dark horses in the relegation odds

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Joey Barton has never been one to shy away from an opinion but his latest comments should have the punters studying the Premier League betting taking notes.

A pre season friendly defeat to Leeds at Elland Road on Sunday left Barton fuming and the midfielder took to Twitter to voice his displeasure.

“If only we as players could tell the fans exactly how it is, without them above fining us lots of money,” Barton tweeted. “There will be a time and a place.

“It wouldn’t affect team morale and cause unrest within the dressing room, am certain Jose’s comments would be the tip of the iceberg… And again it would be left to those magnificent fans to pick up the remnants of their once great football club.

“If I wanted to leave, I’d just come out and say ‘I want to leave’. Things need addressing as I am not prepared to go through a relegation again.”

Newcastle are 5/1 to go through that relegation and while too much shouldn’t be read in to pre-season results, Alan Pardew is running out of excuses all ready.

Barton, Yohan Cabaye, Mike Williamson, Steven Taylor, Danny Simpson, Dan Gosling, Jonas Gutierrez, Shola Ameobi and Demba Ba all featured for Newcastle in what was a strong line-up against Leeds and the result would have affected the team’s confidence ahead of the new season.

Fiorentina arrive at St James’ Park on Saturday for Newcastle’s final pre-season friendly before the start of the new season and it gives Pardew one final chance to assess his best side ahead of their opening fixture with Arsenal.

Arsenal are 5/6 to win at St James’ Park with Newcastle available at 3/1.

Shocks are not uncommon on the opening day of the season but Newcastle are in for a tough ride this season and it should start badly in front of their home fans on the opening day of the season.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.