Whatever the outcome of Newcastle’s game against West Brom, neither team can cite lack of experience of their opponent’s style of play as an excuse for defeat.
Having both been relegated at the end of the 2008/09 season, and subsequently promoted a year later, they will have played each other more times than any other clubs over the past four years by Wednesday evening.
And while it might not instantly be regarded as a classic match by the neutral fan, goals have tended to flow in this fixture in recent years.
Indeed, 20 goals have been scored in the past four matches between these two clubs, including a 3-3 thriller on the final day of last season where West Brom pulled it back in the final minute having been trailing by three goals at half time.
Conceding so late on in the game caused Newcastle to slip down from eighth to 12th and, more importantly, ensured that they finished lower than their arch rivals Sunderland.
The hero for the Baggies that afternoon was Somen Tchoyi, who bagged all three goals, which built on the goal he scored in the reverse fixture at the Hawthorns that season too.
Astonishingly, this fine form means that two thirds of all of his goals for West Brom have come against the Toon Army. He has largely been utilised as a sub this season, but buoyed by such a record he may feel confident enough to come on and grab the last goal of the game, which is priced at 10/1.
Punters may, however, wish to look towards West Brom’s more frequent goalscorers for shorter odds.
Much to Steve Kean’s chagrin, Peter Odemwingie netted West Brom’s winner against Blackburn in the final minute of their game last weekend, making it three goals this season.
With a record of 11 goals in 11 games, Ba might be excused for thinking he can be the one to grab two or more goals in this game.
He will be looking to continue this positive streak instantly against Newcastle, and odds of 7/1 to score first reflect the real chance that this will happen.
Having failed to win in their past five games, though, Alan Pardew’s men will be looking to give the Geordie faithful something to cheer about before Christmas. A return to the form that saw them catapult themselves up to 3rd in the Premiership after 11 games would undoubtedly be welcome on Tyneside.
It could be argue that, despite their dip in form recently, Demba Ba has showed signs of consistency throughout the season.
Indeed, he grabbed two goals at the defeat at Carrow Road and also netted at Old Trafford, and was denied by the woodwork against Swansea at the weekend.
Interestingly, the past three meetings between these clubs have seen one player grab at least a brace. With a record of 11 goals in 11 games, Ba might be excused for thinking he can be the one to grab two or more goals in this game.
Punters wishing to use their free £25 bet on backing him to do so – priced at 11/2 – will win £162.50 if successful.
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