Newcastle v Sheffield United: Magpies to overcome blunt Blades
Newcastle's final home game is against relegated Sheffield United and Simon Mail expects the hosts to prove too strong in front of their returning fans...
Newcastle looking to end on a high
Newcastle have had a turbulent season, with fan unrest and fears of relegation, but Steve Bruce's side can look forward to another campaign in the Premier League. There have been undoubted low points, such as the defeat at relegated Sheffield United in January, but Newcastle have improved with the return of their key attackers.
Callum Wilson scored twice in the recent 4-2 win at Leicester City but the striker will not play again this season due to a hamstring injury. Attacker Allan Saint-Maximin has also been influential since his return to fitness.
Newcastle have scored seven goals in their last two matches after an entertaining 4-3 home defeat to champions Manchester City on Friday night.
Blades preparing for life in Championship
Sheffield United were relegated back to the Championship in April but the Blades showed their fighting spirit with a shock 1-0 win at Everton on Sunday. A goal from teenager Daniel Jebbison, on his first Premier League start, secured a rare win and ended a miserable run of seven successive away defeats stretching back to January.
Paul Heckingbottom has taken temporary charge since the exit of Chris Wilder in March but the interim boss has only managed to win two games. The damage was done from much earlier in the season with toothless Sheffield United desperately short in the final third. The Blades have scored a league low of just 19 goals in 36 matches.
Hosts backed to claim victory
Newcastle are 1.84 favourites to claim a victory in front of their returning fans. The Magpies will want to sign off with a win at St James' Park and avenge their dismal defeat at Bramall Lane from earlier in the season. Replicating their performances against Leicester and Man City should be enough to overcome their limited opponents.
Sheffield United are 5.0 outsiders to secure back-to-back victories. The Blades were indebted to goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale at Goodison Park and they have won just twice away all season. Despite their win at Everton, it is difficult to make a strong case for the visitors.
The draw is available at 3.8 but stalemates have been exceptionally rare for Sheffield United. The Premier League's bottom side have drawn just two matches all season.
A total of 28 defeats from 36 defeats tells its own story and Newcastle are fancied to hand out another loss.
Low-scoring game likely at St James' Park
It is worth looking for a way to enhance the price on a Newcastle victory and a low-scoring win looks likely. Only two of Sheffield United's last 17 league matches have produced more than three goals with the relegated side's lack of end product leading to plenty of narrow defeats. Backing Newcastle to win with under 3.5 goals boosts the odds to 6/4.
Another significant trend is United's matches leading to one of the teams failing to score. Obviously more often than not the Blades have misfired due to their paltry scoring record. In their last 15 matches only one of them has resulted in both teams scoring. Backing no for both teams to score looks a no brainer especially with generous odds of 21/20 on offer for their midweek match.
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