Saturday, December 18, 2010
BIRMINGHAM CITY - NEWCASTLE UNITED
We have talked before about Birmingham and that their impressive looking home record is a little misleading, they have dodged any number of bullets at St Andrews, especially recently, when they collected four points from games against Tottenham and Chelsea, both of which they could/should have lost by at least two goals. They have conceded in 4 of their last 5 starts here, the only clean sheet coming in that Chelsea fixture when the visitors created some 30 attempts on goal. So, I do not think they are quite as strong as their basic record suggests, but what cannot be disputed is that they have great heart and will battle for the full 90 minutes.
Newcastle made a fine start under new boss Alan Pardew, putting three past Liverpool and I suspect that his team will not yet completely abandon their attacking principles on the road, a policy that has seen them earn a couple of famous wins ( Arsenal and Chelsea in the cup), yet get hammered in trips to Bolton and WBA, it is very much a case of feast or famine for the Magpies. Away from home they have scored in their last 7 starts and conceded 14 in six, home and away they are "over" in 11 from 14. I feel goals are on the cards again today and expect both teams to contribute, that is normally the case when these two meet, both scoring in the last four meetings and two of the last four match ups here have ended 2-2, which is my idea of the scoreline today. Tough holiday programme ahead for both, so neither will want to leave empty handed and preferably with all three points.
"over" 2.5 goals 2.17