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Stuart Dalgleish 30th Oct 2010 - 21:12

Don’t expect a classic in the Tyne-Wear derby

After a gap of nearly two years, Newcastle (23/20) will be able to lock horns with their most fierce rivals Sunderland (12/5, the draw is 9/4) in the lunch-time kick-off from the Premier League.

The Black Cats fans will have had a good laugh when United got relegated two seasons ago, but you can be sure that they will have missed this date from their fixture list.

It's always a great occasion, filled with plenty of passion and commitment, and that's just from the fans, the likes of Andy Carroll (9/2 first goal) and Jordan Henderson (12/1) are sure to be even more pumped up than the supporters when representing their home-town clubs in the big one.

Sadly though, I'm not sure that this one will go down as a memorable derby match.

Newcastle are extremely inconsistent, especially at St James' Park where they haven't won since August and Sunderland rely too heavily on Darren Bent (9/2), if he isn't scoring, Sunderland aren't scoring.

Only Asamoah Gyan (7/1) and own goal have scored for Steve Bruce's team other than their England striker this season, pretty worrying really especially if Bent was to get injured.

If I was a Sunderland supporter I would be a bit confused as to why Gyan hasn't been given more of a run-out, Danny Welbeck (8/1) often starts ahead of the Ghanaian but as much of a hard-worker that he is, he's just not going to offer you the same threat in front of goal that the World Cup star does.

It's why I would be looking at a low-scoring affair, a 1-0 home win is tempting at 13/2, I would say 1-0 Sunderland is value at 9/1, but you might as well just back Bent 1-0 in the scorecast market at 40/1, nobody else is going to get a winning goal for them!

That makes under 1.5 goals look really difficult to ignore at 12/5, but you could just play it safe and go with the under 2.5 at 8/11, it's been a winner in three of the last four derbies and has also come in seven out of nine times in Sunderland league games this season.

I know it's never fun to watch a game cheering on the unders, but I can't see any other option coming in, of course if you think there will be goals galore then you can double your money on the overs as that's an even money shot.

The visitors could be helped in the creativity stakes by the returning Kieran Richardson (20/1), the former England international has missed the last four games with a hamstring injury, Fraizer Campbell and David Meyler are still missing though.

Ahmed El-Mohamady (16/1) should also be able to play after recovering from a foot injury, the Egyptian has fitted in really well since arriving on loan, Bruce will surely look to sign him up permanently for next season, he doesn't want to miss out like he did with Zaki at Wigan the other year (although admittedly he hasn't gone on to better things as was expected).

Newcastle have no new injury worries, but are still missing many players through one reason or another, defensively is where they are most hit with Steven Taylor and Sol Campbell sat in the treatment room alongside goalkeeper Steve Harper, thankfully for the St James' regulars I can't see that been an issue for them on Sunday though.

Chris Hughton's team would move above their rivals with victory, which would be their 250th in the Premier League, and their recent record in this match makes for good reading with only three defeats in 16 in the league, the draw no bet price of 1/2 would be where my money would go though as opposed to the match betting price of 23/20.



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