Raul Jimenez back on the scoresheet
Wolves picked up their second win of the season at Southampton last weekend, as new manager, Bruno Lage, continues to try and instil his philosophy on the players.
The victory was a significant one – not just because of the three points – but the winner was scored by Raul Jimenez. It was the Mexican’s first goal for Wolves since October 2020, which ironically came against Newcastle.
Jimenez will again lead the line at Molineux on Saturday, but he could be flanked by two different players from last week, as Trincao and Traore could come in for Podence and Hee-Chan. Apart from that, Lage will probably name an unchanged XI.
Worrying times for Bruce
The pressure on Steve Bruce continues to crank up week by week, as the Magpies are six games in, and they are yet to record a competitive victory. Last season’s 12th place seems like a distant memory – and Bruce was hardly popular back then either. The Newcastle boss is the 4.57/2 favourite in Betfair’s Next Premier League Manager to Leave betting.
Newcastle have drawn three of their six league fixtures, but with 14 goals against, only Norwich have a worse defensive record.
The positive news for Bruce is that they have at least avoided defeat on their last two outings – drawing 1-1 with both Leeds and Watford.
Callum Wilson remains sidelined, so the exciting Allan Saint-Maximin will start as a lone-striker, with Almiron, Willock and Joelinton in-behind.
The hosts are the 1.715/7 favourites for this fixture on the Betfair Exchange, with the draw next in at 4.216/5, and the away win the outsider at 5.59/2.
I haven’t been impressed with either side this season, and Wolves’ record of three defeats from three at home hardly fills me with confidence.
The short price for them to break their duck at Molineux isn’t appealing to me in the slightest, and I would much prefer to lay them at 1.728/11.
Given the number of drawn matches that the visitors have had this term, a small bet on another at 4.216/5 is quite enticing, and if Newcastle go one better and win, we will at least collect on the Wolves lay bet.
The goal markets are a bit of a tricky one, so it’s no surprise that the Under/Over 2.5 Odds are pretty close together.
Over 2.5 is the marginal favourite at 1.9620/21, but Under 2.5 can be backed at 2.021/1.
Purely on the statistics, Unders is probably the call, as while Newcastle’s matches have been the second-highest scoring games in the league so far, 50% of them have still ended with two goals or fewer.
Then we have Wolves, who’s matches are averaging a measly 1.33 goals each time – a full 0.5 of a goal lower than the next lowest. All six of their outings have seen Under 2.5 backers collect, with four of them finishing with just a single goal.
For my Bet Builder on the Sportsbook, I have first combined Newcastle Win or Draw – in the Double Chance market – and Under 2.5 Goals.
Given how low-scoring Wolves’ matches have been, I have also included Under 0.5 First Half Goals.
Looking at the disciplinary record of both teams this season, I have included Over 30 Booking Points (basically four yellows), as the two sides have 13 yellows apiece this year – an average of just over two per game.
Finally I have added Over 3.5 Newcastle Corners. They have had 28 so far, with six of them coming at Vicarage Road last Saturday. They even managed three at Old Trafford in their 4-1 defeat, and they had four in their other away fixture, at Aston Villa.
Key Opta Stat
Wolves haven’t won any of their last seven home league games against Newcastle (D5 L2), since a 1-0 victory in the second tier in April 1993