Premier League Tips & Predictions: Reading vs. Newcastle

Steven Suarez

Monday, January 14, 2013 8:52 PM GMT

Can the Magpies finally get back on the winning side of things this weekend? They'll have an excellent shot against Reading, but nothing is ever guaranteed in the English Premier League. Check out our Premier League tips and predictions for this matchup.

Odds Overview

As the hosts, the Magpies get the fine distinction of being the favourites in the Premier Leage odds. They're listed at 20/7 to grab three points, while Reading can be backed at 7/2.

Never count out a draw in this league. Newcastle is coming off a boring 0-0 draw away to Norwich and a similar result can be found at 12/5 for this weekend's visit of the Royals.

For a rundown of all of this weekends EPL action check out our Premier League Tips & Predictions for Week 23.

Newcastle

The absence of Demba Ba has been felt in a major way. The Magpies have failed to get on the score-sheet in their past two matches.

First they lost 2-0 in the F.A. Cup to Championship side Brighton, a week before settling for a deadlock with Norwich City at Carrow Road. Newcastle had only eight total shots, two of which were on goal, and were lucky to get anything from a match in which they offered little to zero attacking guile. 

Just how to you replace someone who had essentially half of Newcastle's goals until he jumped ship for Chelsea? No easy task there, but Alan Pardew has plucked out some awesome talent during past transfer windows and something will have to be done again to add more punch to his squad.

The fact of the matter is Newcastle haven't won any of their last four matches. They've lost three of those, including a 7-3 thumping at the hands of Arsenal just before the New Year.

This terrible spell has the Magpies all the way down at #16 in the standings at the moment, putting them ahead of only Wigan, Aston Villa, Reading and QPR. That's not the kind of company we expected Newcastle to be keeping before the season had started. 

Reading 

The overall picture hasn't been too great for the Royals either, as they're stuck in nineteenth place with just three wins out of 22 league fixtures. 

That being said, the mood around Reading Football Club has been lifted considerably after a highly successful week which saw the Royals beat Crawley Town 3-1 in the cup and West Brom 3-2 in the league.

What a game it was against the Baggies. Reading was down 2-0 and looked destined for another loss, which would have severely hurt their chances of staying up. Then, everything changed. Jimmy Kebe brought the Royals one goal closer, Adam Le Fondre evened things up from the penalty spot six minutes later, and Pavel Pogrebnyak scored the match-winner in the closing seconds.

You won't see many more exciting matches than that one at Madejski Stadium, regardless of the fact these two teams aren't highly recognizable by the general worldwide public.

In spite of Reading's recent resurgence, they're still going to need a fantastic showing to get anything out of this trip to Tyneside. The Magpies are a wounded animal right now and are just waiting to unleash. 

[gameodds]2/217436/43/us[/gameodds]

Premier League Pick

Credit the Royals for displaying a never-say-die attitude, but their away form suggests Newcastle is the right side to take with our Premier League picks on Saturday. 

Reading has still yet to win away from home, having lost nine of their 11 matches and drawing the other two. In all, the Royals have a minus-13 goal differential outside of Madejski Stadium. 

The Magpies are in a bad way right now. However, they've beaten the likes of Tottenham and West Brom and still have a fair amount of talent, such as Papiss Cisse, who can make a difference. Therefore, we like Newcastle to get the win over Reading this weekend.

Premier League Tips & Predictions: Newcastle 2 Reading 0