Burnley v Newcastle United: Back the Magpies with the momentum for Turf Moor clash

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce is looking for his third successive Premier League victory this Saturday, and Alan Dudman is backing the Magpies to get a result at Turf Moor...

Burnley v Newcastle
Saturday December 14th, 15:00

Dyche looking for a response after three losses

Burnley have lost their last three Premier League matches by an aggregate of 11-1, which is not something you would associate with a Sean Dyche side. Although in two of those games we have mitigating circumstances - with heavy defeats to Tottenham (5-0) and Manchester City (4-1). Those are not the sort of fixtures the Clarets will take anything from - and their record against the 'Big Six' is horrendous as they have won just one in 28.
They were torn apart by an almost classic Mourinho performance last weekend at Spurs. The north Londoners found all the gaps as Burnley's 4-4-2 was stretched all over the place. Compact they were not. Dyche wasn't happy either with the way his side relinquished possession so cheaply, and so early.
The third defeat in the sequence mentioned was a 0-2 home loss to Crystal Palace - a match they were 2.42 to back beforehand.
Perhaps we are asking for too much from Burnley? The highs seem to be followed by lows in quite a momentum shift. Their form is dotted with comfortable successes and heavy defeats, but they have got it right with four wins at Turf Moor this season against Southampton, Norwich, West Ham and Everton.
Although you'd have to search far and wide to find a more dismal performance than the Hammers that afternoon.

Shelvey the shining light in Bruce's Toon revival

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce described the oncoming set of December fixtures as "season defining" recently. Is he thinking of Premier League safety? Or is he plotting something bolder? If it's a top ten finish, there's a market for that, and the Magpies can be backed at 4.40.
Their latest 2-1 success against Southampton took them to 22 points from 16 games; which is nine more than they had at this stage last term. Bruce thought his team looked very tired in the first period, but a rousing second half comeback with goals from Jonjo Shelvey and Federico Fernando ensured the Toon kept up their excellent home record at St James' Park this term. They haven't lost there since the opening day.
Even Andy Carroll (on as a second half substitute versus Southampton) had a stormer.
Bruce has spoken about the away form and how it has gone "up and down" too easily this term, but with the Christmas set of fixtures, he should be identifying this game as one to take three points from.
He'll have to manage without winger Allan Saint-Maximin, though. His hamstring injury sustained last weekend is a real blow, as he recorded 18 dribbles against the Saints and certainly gets the fans off their seats.

Value lies with the visitors

I like to price up games before I see the markets on Wednesday and Thursday - so I was a little taken aback to see Burnley installed at around 2.06. Compare that to the 2.42 against Palace and the 2.96 against Everton, it really offers no value.
The counter argument to that would be that Burnley have won four games with four clean sheets against sides they were expected to beat. However, those odds bother me more than their form of three successive defeats.
Newcastle's price is fairly generous at 4.20, and that brings into play the Double Chance market or the Draw No Bet option. Which should really be considered as Newcastle returned the full six points last term from their two meetings and they have gained results this season with wins against Tottenham and Manchester United, plus the back-to-back victories against West Ham and Bournemouth.
I don't expect an aesthetically pleasing game, and the stats will tell you that from Opta. Burnley (326) and Newcastle (305) have made the fewest passes per game than any other team. They also rank first and second with a proportion of longer passes. It could be set up for another Carroll cameo - who gave glimpses of the player from a decade ago against Southampton.
The DNB is priced at 3.00, and I prefer that bet to the much shorter Draw/Away in the Double Chance market at 1.96. It's nice having two results running for you, but Bruce is looking for his third consecutive Premier League win, and I expect them to be positive and play further up the pitch.

Can Shelvey keep the golden run going?

One of the most interesting markets for Saturday's match-up is the To Score one, given that Newcastle defenders have scored nine of the club's goals this season. That accounts for 53% of their total and there will be some large odds amongst the away side's backline. Jetro Willems springs to mind with his overlapping runs, and he's got two thus far.
He'll be a decent price, and so will Shelvey - who is in the form of his life. The midfielder has netted in three consecutive league matches for the first time in his career, and is now the team's top scorer this season with five. Odds at around 9.40 are most appealing.
Burnley's front two of Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes give the team their attacking edge, especially with the excellent delivery from Dwight McNeil. Barnes has been struggling with a groin injury in recent weeks, but they are a fine front-pairing with a good return of six goals each this season. The duo were both on the scoresheet in games against West Ham and Watford.
Wood is available at 2.74 and Barnes 2.54.
The Over/Under 2.5 Goals is split between 1.81 for the latter and 2.16 for the former - predicting a low-scoring game. I'm not so sure, especially as Newcastle have conceded 16 goals away from St James' Park, so whilst the Over is attractive, we can get a similar sort of price for Both Teams To Score, and that's a bet I prefer to strike.

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