Newcastle v Wigan: Toon to edge scrappy contest

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Newcastle have lost four successive league matches and, as they slide nearer and nearer to the drop zone, the onus on them to take maximum points from Wigan is huge.

Goal difference is all that separates the sides, yet the Magpies are 1/1 favourites for victory despite their foul form. They will be boosted by the fact that they’ve never been beaten by their next adversaries in any of their six Premier League meetings at St James’ Park and they’ll take any lift they can get right now.

Roberto Martinez’s men haven’t enjoyed the best of times in recent weeks either, losing three of their last four outings. Though they will take confidence from a spirited showing against the champions in midweek where they may have claimed a point on another day.

At 11/4, the away win is probably worth swerving, but the draw at 23/10 could prove profitable.

Goalscoring has been a big issue for the Toon this term and is arguably the root cause of their current plight.

They’ve managed to score just three times in their last five league clashes, while Wigan are far from prolific on the road having notched a meagre four in their six games away from the DW Stadium.

This makes the 5/6 that says they’ll be under 2.5 goals scored in this clash a pretty safe bet, while the 11/10 for one or neither team to find the back of the net offers great value.

A low-scoring affair is something you can hang your hat on when these two stuttering sides next collide.

Home advantage could prove decisive and a 1-0 home win – as has been the case in six of the last 13 renewals – could well be worth a punt at 13/2, while a 0-0 at 8/1 also stands a good chance of reaping rewards.

Elsewhere, if you’re thinking of delving into the first player to score market, Ladbrokes are offering to refund all losing stakes as free bets should Wigan’s hat-trick hero against Reading, Jordi Gomez, net first or last at St James’ Park.

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

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