Newcastle’s decision to scan the transfer market for other forward options, having struck out on a deal for unwanted Aston Villa front man Darren Bent, only heightens Fulham’s chances to topple the north west outfit in their divisional match bet this season.
That’s because Fulham themselves have set their hearts on reuniting their manager, Martin Jol, with the forward he worked briefly with at Tottenham in 2007. And with Bent’s style of play a perfect fit for The Cottagers, backing their 6/5 price to finish the coming season ahead of Alan Pardew’s French Army seems wise.
Having spent most of last season picking bench splinters out of his backside, Bent will be gasping to return to regular first-team action and Fulham look like perfect candidates to scratch that itch.
They’ll likely reap the rewards of the player’s determination to prove he’s still a threat and a frontline partnership of Dimitar Berbatov and Bent is a dizzying thought for Fulham fans. While the pair didn’t particularly fire together in their few games up front for Spurs, in theory they’re a match made in goalscoring heaven.
While Berbatov drops deep to receive the ball to his creatively gifted feet, Bent can lurk higher up the pitch waiting to pounce on balls threaded in behind the defence. Meanwhile Newcastle, who are 3/5 shots to finish higher than Fulham, are intent on replenishing their already swollen stocks with yet more French talent in the form of Bafetimbi Gomis and will have to wait while their foreign imports to adjust to a new league.
Add in the Geordie outfit’s state of cataclysmic disarray off the field – the unwanted return of Joe Kinnear as Director of Football, Alan Pardew’s constantly scrutinised job security and Papiss Cisse’s Wonga gripes – and it seems that Newcastle have been doing anything but preparing for their on field duties, themselves in need of drastic improvement following a 2013 campaign spent battling relegation.
So for Bent, and bwin customers, siding with Fulham can be the only option.