Stoke striker given price boost to score first v Newcastle

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Stoke’s clash with Newcastle may not be the kind of Monday Night Football fixture that sends Sky Sports’ marketing team into overdrive, but that doesn’t mean Ladbrokes won’t give their customers a little gem to play with.

That gem surrounds the hosts’ beanpole striker Peter Crouch, who has received a price boost to score the first goal of the game when the struggling Geordies visit the Britannia.

The former Liverpool and Tottenham striker, who has scored two goals already this term, is stretched from 6/1 to 7s to break the game’s deadlock.

Neither of Crouch’s two strikes so far, one in the Capital One Cup, the other in the Premier League, have been the first goals of the game, however that shouldn’t detract any would-be supporters.

The robot-celebrating striker is a reliable goal-scorer in front of the Potters fans, notching five of his eight league goals in his home stadium last season.

Again, he wasn’t as proficient at opening the scoring as perhaps his backers would have like, having set the scoreboard rolling just once in that set of eight strikes.

However, against a Newcastle side that sits rock bottom of the league and has shipped 11 goals, the former England man should fancy his chances of finding the net.

Alan Pardew’s beleaguered outfit’s struggles have come from their inability to keep the opposition at bay.

In four of their five Premier League games this season, Newcastle have allowed their enemies to score the first goal four times, playing straight into Crouch’s hands/feet.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.