When it transpired towards the end of last season that Brighton and Newcastle were Premier League-bound, the two clubs became Championship title rivals.
The Seagulls needed to win just one of their last three games to take the crown but failed to do so. Their competitors duly took advantage, having done the double over the Seagulls, and on Sunday, they are 19/10 (2.90) with SportPesa to beat them for the third time in little over a year.
Value though, could be found by looking at the goal times, which hint at an initially tight encounter. Rafa Benitez and Chris Hughton are pragmatic coaches who like their side to give nothing away early on – the two teams’ combined 10 matches have seen just two goals in the first 30 minutes. The 5/7 (1.71) on offer for a goalless first half hour would suit a probability of 58%, which is 22% lower than the likelihood the early trends suggest, albeit from a small sample size.
Brighton though have conceded six goals in second halves of matches, no team has shipped more after the interval. By contrast, only the two Manchester clubs, Spurs and Liverpool have scored more second half goals than Newcastle’s four this season. An all-square first half with Newcastle going on to win is 19/4 (5.75) while Toon are 41/20 (3.05) just to win the second half.
They are also 23/20 (2.15) to score last, which translates to a probability of 47%. That eventuality or Brighton conceding last has occurred in 70% of the games involving either side this season.
Centre-back Jamaal Lascelles is currently the away side’s top scorer and is 24/1 (25.0) to score last, as he has done in the previous two games. The hosts’ current top scorer is Pascal Gross, who Hughton confirmed is fit to play on Sunday. The German, who has been involved in all four league goals, bagging two himself, is valued only as the 12th most likely player to score – 7/2 (4.5) to hit the net anytime.
Whoever the goalscorers, a tight first half hour with Newcastle steadily growing in control looks the best betting angle and should be backing accordingly.
|Newcastle to score last 23/20 (2.15) for a 1pt stake with SportPesa|