Norwich v Newcastle: Back Pukki to help Canaries get at least a point

Record-breaking Teemu Pukki can keep up his excellent scoring record against Newcastle and help his team to get at least a point, says Jamie Pacheco.

Canaries playing for Premier League moves

Not even the most die-hard Norwich fan believes there's till hope of staying up. Not only are they eight points adrift from Everton in 17th place with six games to go, but Everton still have a game in hand on them.

The fact Norwich's squad doesn't look good enough to survive at this level is probably the main reason for their problems. The evidence for that is that they've conceded three times as many goals (66) as they've scored (22).

Still, they're going to go down fighting.

Cristiano Ronaldo masterclass was needed to beat them 3-2 at Old Trafford last weekend, Norwich coming from 2-0 down to make it 2-2 and for a period, looking like they could take the lead.

Cynical as this may sound, these last matches are an opportunity for some of their better players to impress and hope someone in this division comes in for them in the summer.

Newcastle 100% safe

It's never nice watching a good man (Steve Bruce) lose his job but in some cases these hard calls are vindicated.

Newcastle's fortunes and performances have vastly improved under Eddie Howe, suggesting he was the right man for the job and Bruce, for whatever reason, wasn't.

They're now 11th, on 40 points and any mention of the 'R' word is reserved solely for the paranoid Newcastle fans because the drop is truly out of the question now.

In a slight aberration on the fixtures list, they've just had three home games in a row, winning all three. No need to explain how important nine points out of nine are when you're battling the drop.

On Wednesday a Miguel Almiron goal was enough to sink Crystal Palace but they may just have got away with one, Palace having the lion's share of possession.

Kieran Trippier and Callum Wilson are long-term absentees.

Don't forget Magpies' away struggles

Newcastle are 2.16 to win, a reflection of that superb three-in-a-row run, their improvement over the past few weeks and of course, the state of their opponents.

But it's not a price to get excited about.

The vast majority of their good work lately has been done at home.

They're actually on a three-match losing streak on the road having lost to Chelsea and Everton (both 1-0) and Tottenham (5-1).

You will have noticed that across those three games, they only managed to score once and one of them was against Everton, who haven't exactly been watertight at the back of late.

What about Norwich at 3.8 then?

Well, they did win their last home game against Burnley (2-0) and Newcastle are their joint-favourite opponents (alongside Southampton) as the only team they've beaten five times at home in the Premier league. Stats from Opta.

Then again, that win over Burnley was their only victory in 11 games in all competitions.

The draw is 3.55 and you could make a case for it at those odds.

Two of the last four between these two at Carrow Road ended in draws and it's a result that Newcastle would certainly settle for.


But we still want to keep a home win onside given Norwich's strong record in this fixture, so we can cover both bases with a lay of the Magpies.

Up for a Pukki party this Saturday?

I remember writing a preview a couple of years ago where I wondered if someone (in the Premier League) would take a chance on Teemu Pukki as Norwich were heading for the drop. They didn't, he stayed at Norwich, they came back up and now they're heading back down in a serious case of deja-vu.

Teemu Pukki, Norwich.jpg

Now 32, it may be a little late for him to make a big move and he may just have to resign himself to being a Norwich legend rather than a Premier League striker, for the time being at least.

But he's had another good season, all things considered. By scoring against United last weekend, Opta stats show, he became the first Norwich player to score more than 10 goals in a Premier League season on two occasions. He's scored almost half (10) of their goals for the season (22).

And he could make it 11 here. He loves playing Newcastle, having netted a hat-trick in a 3-1 win two years ago and the equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Newcastle this season. That's four in his last three against them.

Remembering that Newcastle tend to concede away from home, including five last time out, and that 13/8 makes plenty of appeal.

Bruno in a Bet Builder

Newcastle's Bruno Guimaraes has had an excellent week with two goals and an assist in his last two games and rates an interesting 13/8 prospect in the new(ish) 'To score or assist' market as their dangerman.

If you combine that with both team scoring, a 4/5 chance, the Bet Builder comes to 3.63.

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