Newcastle v Atromitos: Foundations in place for Magpies progress
Newcastle welcome Atromitos to the Sports Direct Arena in pole position to qualify considering the 1-1 draw they achieved in Greece last week.
Alan Pardew’s side was far from full strength in that first-leg encounter, and having still managed to avoid defeat, many will like the 1/3 about a Toon win back on their own patch.
A potential deterrent to backing the Magpies is the omission of key midfielder Cheick Tiote though, who will miss out with a calf injury.
Brothers Shola and Sammy Ameobi will also sit out the tie, with each suffering from hamstring and knee troubles respectively.
Those who feel Atromitos can capitalise against a depleted Newcastle side can have a big 9/1 about an away success, while it is 18/5 they achieve a draw on Tyneside.
However, it should be noted that the Greek outfit have progressed past the play-offs in this competition only once, and were soundly trounced 6-1 on aggregate in their following tie.
Punters shouldn’t expect that record to improve here, and having conceded less than a goal a game on average at home last season, Newcastle could keep a clean sheet here at 5/6.
An even more appealing bet is the Magpies to win to nil, at 11/10, with them achieving this feat seven times in their last 20 outings on their own patch.
And with 2-0 the scoreline that Newcastle most commonly triumphed by last season, the 9/2 odds about a Magpies win via that score appeal here.
Those interested in that price may be of the opinion that the Toon can score in both halves tonight, and thus could back the home side to notch before and after half-time at 11/10.
It is 11/8 for Newcastle to win both halves, which is far more tempting than the 5/6 that the home side leads at both the half-time and full-time whistle.
Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse will be key to Newcastle’s chances and as such the Senegalese strike pair are 3/1 joint-favourites to open the scoring.
Ryan Taylor got the Magpies on the scoresheet in Greece though, and the set-piece specialist could be worth a punt to break the deadlock at a big 12/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.