Newcastle v Preston
Monday, 24th April, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports 1


Newcastle's rotten end-of-season form has seen the Magpies collect just one point from their last three fixtures and pocket just two victories in their last eight outings (W2-D3-L3), seeing their title charge and promotion push falter.

Not since Rafael Benitez's first four games in charge last April have the Toon gone more than two games without a triumph. That poor run has threatened the automatic promotion that had looked so assured in the middle of the season, but Huddersfield's 4-1 hiding at the hands of Fulham has left their task looking a lot easier. One more win will seal it for the Magpies. 

However, top scorer Dwight Gayle remains absent and defender Ciaran Clark is doubtful still despite training with the squad this week. Winger Rolando Aarons is sidelined, while Jack Colback, Yoann Gouffran, Ayoze Perez and Aleksandar Mitrovic will all hope for recalls.


Preston's outside play-off dreams have been crushed bythree successive defeats. The Lilywhites shipped three goals in each loss - prior to this poor run, North End had conceded three goals in just three of 58 games.

Simon Grayson gave his squad two days off after the hectic Easter schedule and the PNE supremo suggested his side will be keen to put on a show in front of the live television cameras despite having little left to play for.

Nevertheless, Grayson's squad is stretched for the trip to Tyneside. Suspensions for Ben Pearson and Alex Baptiste plus season-ending injuries to Tom Clarke and Greg Cunningham have weakened the defence although Tyias Browning is back in the fold.

Match Odds

Newcastle have won each of their last five league games against Preston and boast a W4-D1-L0 record when entertaining the Lilywhites at St James' Park in league football. The Magpies also smashed PNE 6-0 when the two teams met here in the League Cup earlier this campaign.
North End fielded a much-changed team during their cup demolition and while I'm not anticipating another heavy reverse, it's difficult to find the faith to back an away win8.00 with so many defensive absentees here. 

The visitors have taken just a solitary point from games at teams in seventh and above but even so, Newcastle 1.50are prohibitively short to support having failed to win half of their home games against clubs in the top-10 before the weekend action.

Over/Under 2.5 Goals

Preston are traditionally a low-scoring side, well organised and pragmatic in approach. However, those aforementioned defensive concerns, plus with the summer on the horizon, North End have lost a large slice of stability in recent weeks.

The Lilywhites have delivered in the Over 2.5 Goalsmarket in six of their past seven outings, as well as seven of their 10 trips to top-half teams this term. A chunky 13/21 (62%) of Newcastle's games on Tyneside have also surpassed the two-goals line making the 1.71 on a repeat on Monday night a worthy favourite. 

But I'm going to bolster the odds to 1.88 and back Both Teams To Score here. It's proved to be a profitable formula in six of Preston's eight dates at clubs above them in the standings, plus four of the last five at St James' Park. 

Recommended Bets
Back Both Teams To Score @ 1.88

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