Newcastle face Hull City in a match billed as Alan Pardew’s last stand and it could just be his successor that issues the coup de grace.
Geordie native Steve Bruce is as short as 5/1 to be the next permanent manager at St James’ Park, a reality that could move that much closer if Hull can down the Magpies.
Given the vociferousness with which Pardew has been ushered towards the exit by sections of the home support, it is perhaps harder than usual to gauge who the Toon Army would rather claimed victory when the Tigers come to town.
Those among their ranks that desire a 5/4-rated Newcastle victory whether or not it prolongs the much-maligned Pardiola’s tenure have a crumb of comfort.
Namely, the wretched road-going record of the visitors, who have reeled in just four victories from their last 22 top-flight away days.
This term they’ve been shut out by Slovakian somebodies Odu Trencin and Lokeren in Europe and received a caning from Aston Villa, with a thoroughly undeserved victory at QPR providing their sole slice of travelling solace.
However, it seems that one of the few places the People’s Republic of Humberside’s footballing elect do enjoy visiting is Tyneside, especially as the leaves begin to turn brown.
A 76th-minute Sone Aluko strike speared the points for the Tigers in late September last term, while a Marlon King brace sunk the hosts on their previous Premier League visit, back in the ninth month of 2008.
That same season saw Hull return to St James’ Park to eliminate Newcastle from the FA Cup courtesy of a rocking horse dung-rare Daniel Cousin goal.
History’s weight will be aided in coming to bear upon this weekend’s fixture by the poor form of Pardew’s men, who are yet to win in four league games, having been denied a goal in all bar one.
They’re 11/5 for the victory that might just bring the curtain down on the silver-haired tactician’s Magpies career.