Arsenal v Newcastle - Betting Preview
The festive period has proved productive in terms of points so far for Arsenal (4/9) to the point that Arsene Wenger must wish it was Christmas every day! They have won their last 3, their best run since March. Newcastle United (7/1) manager Alan Pardew on the other hand can't wait for the last of the turkey to be scoffed and the tree to be stowed away for the next eleven and a half months - they have lost 7 of their last 9 games and losing to Manchester United on Boxing Day after having taken the lead on 3 occasions.
Arsenal got an extended rest over Boxing Day with their match postponed due to transport issues and will be looking to extend the run which has seen them concede just 5 goals in 6 matches. Their much maligned defence is starting to gel and will likely be strengthened next month. The Gunners have kept 7 clean sheets in 18 league games, a record bettered only by Chelsea (eight) and Stoke (nine) and for them to keep another cleansheet we go (11/10) or to win to nil (11/8)
Theo Walcott (5/1 first/last, 5/4 anytime) with 11 goals so far this season and Lukas Podolski (4/1 first/last) with 8 will be Arsenals main goal threats and as with all our scorer markets we offer 2 goal and hatrick options. Carzola has also been weighing in with the goals, scoring 7 so far this season so we have our enhanced offer on him this week. Cazorla to score and Arsenal to win is enhanced to 7/2.
Arsenal needed a Thomas Vermaelen stoppage-time winner to complete a 2-1 comeback win in the corresponding fixture last January and he is (16/1 first/last, 6/1 anytime) to do it again. They could also welcome back Tomas Rosicky (12/1 first/last, 5/1 anytime) to the side after recovering from illness.
Over 2.5 goals in the game is a bet to look at at (4/7) . 27 goals have been scored in Arsenal and Newcastle's last 4 game in the league, 7 of them coming in the Man Utd game on Boxing Day. Or what about Arsenal with a handicap? -1 (21/20), -2 (11/4), -3 (13/2) and -4 (16/1).
The Festive season got off to the worst of starts for the Magpies boss Pardew. They have collected just 6 points from their last 27 and have not won away from home yet this season, losing the last 5 and conceding 10 goals in those games. That said they have scored in their last 6 matches which is their best run this season to date.
Newcastle top scorer Demba Ba with 11 goals this campaign will be looking to get on the score sheet yet again. A transfer target for a few clubs in January; according to Pardew he is likely to be sold if he did not remove the reported £7m release clause in his contract. We have him at 15/2 to score the first/last goal and 9/4 to score at anytime. We also have an enhanced the price for Ba to score in a Newcastle win to 10/1. Papa Cisse (9/1 first/last, 10/3 anytime) remains a constant threat with 5 goals, and Sholi Ameobi (11/1 first/last, 4/1 anytime) with 3.
The Magpies' have more injuries than a New Years eve casualty department, but are hopeful of having midfielder Cheick back after a 1 match ban.
In matches against each other The Gunners have lost just once in their last 10 matches against Newcastle. In the 18 Premier League trips away to Arsenal, Newcastle have won on 4 occasions.
Arsenal has won 18 league matches in 2012, which is their joint lowest tally. They also recorded 18 victories in 1997. If Arsenal lose the will have equalled their most defeats in a calendar year under the Frenchman with 10, a record set in 2006 and 10.
Santi Cazorla to score & Arsenal win @ 7/2
Demba Ba to score & Newcastle win @10/1
Worth a Punt
Double result - Newcastle/Arsenal @ 22/1
Stats treble - Over 2.5 Goals and Over 12 Corners and Over 6 Cards @ 33/1