Soccer Tips: Sunderland vs Newcastle

Richard O'Hagan

Thursday, October 24, 2013 8:45 PM GMT

Sunderland plays host to New Castle over the weekend. Find out where we have decided to place our cash.

The Tyneside derby at the ‘wrong’ end of the table

In normal seasons the Tyneside derby match between Sunderland and Newcastle is one which fills the region with anticipation as two proud clubs do battle, no quarter asked or given.

2013-14 Premier League Futures

This year is somewhat different. Both sides are stuck firm in the bottom half of the table. The travails of both are well known. Sunderland followed the brief and controversial reign of Paolo di Canio with the appointment of another manager with no experience of managing in the top flight, Gus Poyet. Newcastle, meanwhile, continue as a side less than the sum of their parts under Alan Pardew, although it is owner Mike Ashley for whom the fans are reserving their ire, with fresh protests taking place at the Sports Direct owner’s stewardship of the club.

Newcastle are in the better place of the two sides at this moment. A 2-2 home draw with Liverpool last weekend showed what the team is capable of, despite the fact that they played over half of the game with ten men after Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa was sent off. Another way of looking at that, though, is that they twice led the game and still didn’t win.

Sunderland, meanwhile, opened the Poyet era with a 4-0 thrashing away to Swansea. Two own goals and a penalty didn’t help their cause, but when (as in this game) your best scoring chance comes from your right back you know that you are a side in trouble.

The market currently figures that these are two very even sides, with both trading at 2.75. If anything, those soccer odds look a little ungenerous, especially given that Sunderland haven’t won all season and have only picked up a solitary point from their eight games. However, local derbies can be strange beasts and the Black Cats will be desperate to bring something away from Poyet’s first home game in charge. For that reason the draw, priced at 3.4 by Paddy Power, looks like a much more attractive option for our soccer picks than either of those win chooses.

Soccer Pick: Draw at +240

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