Saturday, July 11, 2020

Prediction: Newcastle vs Wolves

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: Bet365

Looking to build on their shock midweek victory over Chelsea, Wolves will travel to St. James’ Park on Sunday afternoon.

Newcastle

Starting with Rafa Benitez’s side, while it may have been a very sluggish start for Newcastle, the Magpies have shown some real improvement under the former Real Madrid boss. Although they might hold just a four-point buffer over the drop zone and sit eight points adrift of the top half of the table, Sunday’s hosts have lost just one of their last six Premier League matches, a run that stems back to the end of October. Picking up a very impressive point against a revitalised Everton side in midweek, although they did seem to have bounced back from last weekend’s woeful display in their 3-0 home defeat to West Ham, Benitez will know that he must improve on the Magpies’ recent record at St. James’ Park. Newcastle have lost six of their opening eight home league games, which is a joint-club record for this stage of the season. Despite their form in the north west still leaving plenty to the imagination, the hosts do historically enjoy their meetings against Wolves. Newcastle have never lost in six previous Premier League matches against Wolves, winning two and drawing four.

Team News

Newcastle are hopeful Kenedy and Paul Dummett will be fit to play but Isaac Hayden, Florian Lejeune and Karl Darlow are certain absentees.

Fabian Schar is banned after accruing five bookings but Matt Ritchie is available after suspension.

Wolves

As for the visitors, despite enduring a six-match winless run and many questioning Wolves’ Premier League credentials, Nuno Espírito Santo’s side put in a seasons best performance in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Chelsea. Battling back from a 1-0 deficit at half-time, last year’s Championship winners will have the chance to bounce back to the top half of the table with another win on Sunday. Heavily investing in their squad over the summer, while their form at Molineux has impressed many, Santo will know the importance of improving on Wolves’ form away from the Midlands. Slumping to a 2-1 loss at the Cardiff City Stadium in their last match on the road, the Orange’s have now failed to win any of their last three Premier League away days. If the visitors are going to build off of their midweek showing, they will be looking for leading goalscorer Raul Jimenez to lead from the front. The 27-year-old has been directly involved in eight of his team’s 15 league goals, scoring four and providing four assists.

Team News

Wolves are boosted by the return of Ruben Neves following a one-game ban.

Leander Dendoncker made his league debut in their midweek win over Chelsea and could be set for an increased role, but Jonny Otto is still out.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Both sides have scored in all six of those Premier League encounters – it is the competition’s most-played fixture yet to produce a clean sheet.
  • Wolves are winless in 15 top-flight matches away to Newcastle, losing 10 of them, since a 4-3 victory in February 1959.
  • Rafael Benitez has not lost any of his 22 home Premier League matches against a promoted club, winning 16 of them.
  • Wolves earned their first league win in seven attempts at the expense of Chelsea in midweek.
  • Newcastle and Wolves are the only teams not to have had an English goalscorer this season.

Conclusion

On paper, both sides should see this as a perfect opportunity to pick up three points. Despite both sides registering goals at a respectable rate, there have been plenty of defensive issues on display. With seven of the last 10 combined matches between Newcastle and Wolves seeing both teams find the net in 90 minuets, we’re backing both sides to score at St. James’ Park on Sunday afternoon.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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