Newcastle United climbed back to the top of the Championship with a hard-fought 2-1 win against Brentford at the weekend and the Magpies can move into the fourth round of the FA Cup when they line up against Birmingham City at St James’ Park in a third round replay on Wednesday night.
Birmingham battled back from a goal down at St Andrew’s to force a replay, but Newcastle are warm favourites to progress to the next round. Rafa Benitez’s men can usually be relied upon on home turf, having won eight of their last 10 matches at St James’ Park and Betway go just 1/2 (1.50) that the team from Tyneside come out on top in this tie.
The Blues are stuck in a rut, having won just one of their last nine matches in all competitions, but Gianfranco Zola’s charges can be backed at a chunky 11/2 (6.50) with Betway to buck that trend by winning this one, while the same firm go 100/30 (4.33) that the match remains deadlocked at the end of 90 minutes.
Birmingham, though, can take heart from their away record in this competition, for the Blues have been beaten in just one of their last 10 FA Cup ties on their travels – a 2-0 defeat against Portsmouth in 2010 – while the Magpies must overcome a dreadful run of results in the competition; indeed, the team from Tyneside have won just two of their last 14 FA Cup clashes.
Newcastle claimed a thumping 4-0 win when these two teams met at St James’ Park in the Championship last month and Benitez’s team can be trusted to set up a fourth round clash against Oxford United by beating the Blues again.
There is plenty of potential for goals when the rivalry is renewed, for the Magpies have managed more than two goals in six of their last seven home wins and the odds compilers offer a chunky 17/10 (2.70) that the hosts score at least three times on Tyneside, while the 8/11 (1.73) quote on offer for the match to feature more than two goals looks to be a solid selection.
Better value, though, lies in the 5/4 (2.25) quote offered up by the odds compilers for the hosts to win by more than a single goal; the selection would have paid dividends in nine of Newcastle’s 11 home victories in all competitions so far this season and, with Birmingham woefully short of form, Betway’s 5/4 (2.25) quote for the trend to continue is worthy of support.
|Newcastle United (-1) to win at 5/4 (2.25) for a 1pt stake with Betway|