Many would have envisaged another relegation scrap for Newcastle after their miserable 2012/13 campaign, but victory over Cardiff has taken their points tally for the season into double digits and they look excellent value to secure a top half finish.
The Premier League table can be broken down thusly. There’s the fearsomely dubbed ‘Big Six’, Everton and then there’s everybody else.
With the first two sections occupying the top seven spots, those compiling the ‘everybody else’ category will all believe in their ability to snatch a top-10 spot after survival has been assured.
The Toon are one of those who should be targeting the top 10 and a price of 17/10 seems more than fair for them to hit that target.
In Loic Remy, Alan Pardew seems to have landed yet another goal-machine striker. The Frenchman took his tally to five for the season in as many appearances as Le Magpies chalked up a 2-1 win in south Wales last time out and, should he continue at a similar rate, an upper-echelon finish surely beckons.
They have solidity right through the team with Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa holding the fort at the back, string-pulling midfielder Yohan Cabaye restored to the engine room and mercurial wide man Hatem Ben Arfa showcased the class he can produce in their recent win at Aston Villa.
With the foundations of a strong side in place, all they lacked was someone to consistently put the ball in the net after Papiss Cisse found the goals hard to come by last term.
In Remy, they seem to have uncovered the man to do just that and have now notched exactly two goals in each of their previous five games. Not all of these were wins, but it obviously improves the team’s chances of avoiding defeat if they’re bagging two goals every time they take to the field.
This is a massive advantage they hold over many of their short-priced foes in the battle to land a Premier League top half spot come the end of the season and definitely should not be discounted.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date