Burnley vs. Newcastle might not seem like the most obvious choice of fixture to be moved so it can be televised. Yet this weekend’s Monday night football has a lot riding on it. The two teams have identical league records of won two, drawn three and lost seven this season, and go into the weekend just one point outside the relegation zone.
As Southampton face Fulham in Claudio Ranieri’s first match on Saturday, at least one of the five teams currently below Burnley and Newcastle will have drawn closer by the time they kick-off too.
Another similarity between the clubs is that both have picked up their two league victories in back-to-back games. More pertinently, Newcastle have won their last two matches, which perhaps explains why they are narrow favourites. BetHard price the Geordies as 7/4 to head home on Monday evening with all three points.
But in truth there’s little to split them – the same firm have Burnley available at 37/20, and the draw at 43/20. You’ll never get a match where all three potential outcomes are priced the same, but there won’t be too many this season which are as close either.
So could the teams cancel each other out and force a stalemate? Both the underlying statistics from this season and the clubs’ recent history against each other suggest it’s a distinct possibility. Using expected goal data from 2018/19 to predict the score line produces a 1-1 draw as the most likely outcome. It’s no surprise the bookmakers agree with that, with Karamba offering 9/2 for this result.
Burnley and Newcastle have only been in the same division in two of the last 35 seasons: 2014/15 and 2017/18. There may not be much history to go on, but it is at least recent. And 1-1 was the result when they last met too. That was at St James Park in January, with Burnley running out 1-0 winners at Turf Moor in October 2017.
Both matches were goalless at half-time, and I wouldn’t dissuade you from having a bet on that here either. Research shows 0-0 is the most common score line after 45 minutes, for starters. More importantly, Newcastle are joint-top of the Premier League for goal-less half-time matches, with six. Burnley aren’t too far behind with four, so consider Sportnation’s odds of 31/20 for this game to be 0-0 at half time.
Whether there are any goals before the break or not, there doesn’t look very likely to be many in total. There are 17 teams who have played 50 Premier League matches since the start of 2017/18. The side who have featured in the fewest matches which had at least three goals are Huddersfield, as it has happened 18 times. Brighton, with 19 such games, aren’t far ahead.
But then come Burnley, with 21, and Newcastle, 22. Rafa Benitez’ team have had the fewest total goals in their matches too, so under 2.5 goals has to be the bet in the total goals market. It’s available at 3/5 with 888sport.
The teams are similarly lowly placed on the overall ‘both teams to score’ chart too. However, for Newcastle it’s because it hasn’t happened too often at home, and they’re ranked 8th out of 17 teams for away matches where both sides found the net. With that in mind, plus the prediction of a 1-1 score line, I’ll be going for ‘yes’ here. No bookmaker currently has better than the evens odds which Coral currently offer for this bet.
Goal scorer tips for this match are very tricky, as no player on either side has more than two league goals so far this season. We can look at the underlying stats though, so for Burnley I’m going to suggest Sam Vokes. The Welsh international is 23/4 to score first with Mansion Bet, or they offer 43/20 that he will bag a goal at any time.
Fourteen of Vokes’ league shots this season have been in the penalty area, and only three players in the division can top his tally of four from inside the six yard box. It’s worth noting his league goals in 2018/19 have come against Cardiff and Huddersfield, so he appears to prosper against other struggling sides.
For Newcastle, it’s hard to ignore the case of Salamon Rondon. The on loan West Bromwich Albion striker scored both goals in Newcastle’s 2-1 win over Bournemouth in their previous match. Despite only playing 411 league minutes, he’s also their top player for shots in the box this season. Rondon is 9/4 with Coral to score at some point, or 11/2 to nab the opener.
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