It might not go down as the most anticipated Monday Night Football in recent seasons but when Burnley host Newcastle at Turf Moor in front of the Sky Sports cameras there's some betting opportunities to be had says Mike Norman...
Burnley v Newcastle
Live on Sky Sports Main Event / Premier League
Clarets hoping to rekindle Turf Moor love affair
Football never ceases to amaze does it? Last season, well, until the end of April, Burnley would have struggled away from home if playing the Dog & Duck, their record was that bad. Yet this season the Clarets have already won at Chelsea and Everton while earning excellent draws away to Tottenham and Liverpool.
But Burnley's excellent away form has come seemingly at a cost. This season their home form so far is a million miles away from what it was last term.
Admittedly Sean Dyche's men have played just five games at Turf Moor this campaign but they've already lost to West Brom in the league, failed to beat relegation candidates West Ham and Huddersfield, and also suffered a penalty shoot-out defeat to Leeds in the EFL Cup. Burnley's only home win was a narrow victory over Crystal Palace, a team that would probably struggle against our mythical Dog & Duck!
But home and away form combined the Clarets have enjoyed a very satisfactory start to the season, going into the 10th round of fixtures sitting eighth in the table, and it's way too early to suggest they've become a better away team than they are in front of their own fans given how magnificent they were at Turf Moor last term.
Magpies flying high after fine start
Sitting just one place, and one point, above Burnley in the early table is Newcastle, who themselves have enjoyed a terrific start to life back in the Premier League.
Under the ever popular Rafa Benitez the Magpies have won four of their opening nine league games but if we were to be ultra critical we could point out that those victories were against clubs - West Ham, Swansea, Stoke, and Crystal Palace - that occupied four of the bottom six places in the table going into this weekend's round of fixtures, so perhaps they're not quite top six, or even top eight, contenders just yet.
Certainly defeats to fellow promoted clubs Brighton and Huddersfield, both without scoring, don't read too well, but it's also hard to knock just one defeat in their most recent seven league games for Newcastle, regardless of how out of form their opponents were.
Match Odds market the wrong way around?
Newcastle have been chalked up as favourites to win this encounter and can be backed at around the 2.74 mark with the hosts currently trading at 3.00 and the draw at 3.20.
It suggests a tight game is on the cards, and it's impossible to disagree with that given how close these clubs are in the table, and the number of goals they both score and concede (we'll touch more on that later). But I'd definitely have Burnley as favourites over the Magpies, so at the odds I have to put them up as my first recommended bet.
It's so easy to fall into the trap of forgetting just how brilliant Dyche's men were on home soil last season, but I'm not about to do that. They accumulated 33 points, just one less than Manchester United, won 10 games, and conceded just 20 goals; statistics that were only bettered by the 'big six' clubs and Everton.
Burnley were consistently underrated in the Match Odds market when playing at Turf Moor last season, and given their relatively slow start in front of their own fans this time around I believe they're being underrated once again. Remember, Newcastle have won just once on the road, that against a very poor Swansea team.
No Monday night classic
This match pits together two of the best defences in the Premier League; only the top three clubs in the table - Man City, United, and Spurs - have conceded fewer than Newcastle's eight this season, while Burnley's nine goals conceded is the joint fifth best.
Immediately then we can understand why Under 2.5 Goals is trading at just 1.64, but when you consider also that neither of these sides are prolific in front of goal then a solid case can be made to back Under 1.5 Goals at 2.90.
Of the 18 combined Premier League games they've played this season, eight of them witnessed just one goal or less, so I'm happy to wager along those lines again. I will however discount the 1-0 away win and dutch back both the 0-0 and 1-0 Correct Scores at 4.50.
Hayden to be carded
With a tight midfield battle likely to be played out, and hopefully a fierce one, my eyes were drawn to Isaac Hayden's boking stats. The tenacious Newcastle youngster received eight yellow cards in a spell of just 13 games last season, while he's already clocked up four bookings from eight starts this term, two of which were the first of the game.
He's a little short - but understandably so - for my liking at 17/10 to be booked at anytime, but he's an appealing 17/2 shot to received the first card of the game.
Back Burnley to Win @ 3.00 (best bet)
Dutch Back 0-0 & 1-0 Correct Scores @ 4.50