Playing a newly-promoted side at home would usually offer much-needed respite to a team in Newcastle’s predicament, but unfortunately for the hosts, Norwich have shown themselves to be tricky customers on the road.
Although Southampton sent the Canaries home empty-handed in August, the 31st-minute dismissal of defender Steven Whittaker was certainly a mitigating factor.
With 11 men on the pitch, Alex Neil’s tenacious and well organised side have accounted for Sunderland 3-1 on their travels, prior to sharing spoils at Liverpool and high-flying West Ham – a match they were only prevented from winning in the 90th minute.
Like Norwich’s first victims of the season, Sunderland, their north-east nemeses Newcastle are yet to record a win in the Premier League, where a point at home to an unrecognisable Chelsea side is their only one from the last 15 available.
Although there were some positives to draw on after the champions’ visit, the pressure was already beginning to mount on Steve McClaren and then Newcastle were blown away 6-1 by Manchester City at the Etihad in their next match.
The fans will expect a massive response, and they may get it at St James’ Park, though the hapless nature of the Magpies under McClaren this season means backing them cannot be done with anything other than blind faith.
Fellow Championship alumni Watford have already carried out a successful raid on Tyneside and if Norwich’s past performances on the road this season are anything to go by, then McClaren best leave his brolly at home.
For those with more faith in Mike Ashley’s latest dugout appointment, Ladbrokes are boosting the odds on Newcastle to win the game and both teams scoring, from 7/2 out to 9/2 from 8.00 am Sunday..
Don’t forget that this televised clash also qualifies for the bookmaker’s Sharp Shooter* offer on first goalscorers.
*Place a First Player To Score bet in any domestic league or cup match, selected Euro 2016 Qualifiers, or any European match involving a British team which is live on selected TV stations. If your winning First Goalscorer nets in the first 25 minutes, we will double the odds on the player on stakes up to £/€25. T’s & C’s
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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