A trip to Benfica on Thursday night was hardly the perfect preparation for Newcastle United as they desperately seek the points to secure Premier League safety when they entertain Fulham on Sunday afternoon.
However, the 3-1 defeat must be quickly wiped from their memories because another slip-up could be disastrous if the teams around them continue to pick up positive results.
Bwin punters who sense Newcastle will get over their European heartbreak can back Alan Pardew’s men to get the win at 9/10.
For every Newcastle backer though, I am sure there will be someone who completely disagrees and fancies Fulham to extend their winning run at St James’ Park at the weekend.
The Cottagers have won back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since September and are priced at odds of 3/1 to make it three in a row, with the draw available at 12/5.
The Magpies have not fared particularly well after Europa League fixtures this season, only recording three wins from 11, so there is certainly an argument for backing an in-form Fulham side to claim maximum points.
Considering Dimitar Berbatov is playing possibly the best football of his career, it is easy to see why Jol’s team are enjoying a good spell.
The classy Bulgarian has scored in each of Fulham’s last four games and has notched 13 goals thus far this season.
Not only is he the club’s leading goalscorer, Berbatov also lays it on a plate for his teammates on a regular basis and without the former Manchester United and Tottenham striker, Fulham could have found themselves in a similar position to their latest opponents.
However, they do have the luxury of Berbatov and the Craven Cottage faithful get the joy of seeing him play on a weekly basis.
Fulham’s number nine is priced at 7/1 to grab the first goal of the game and will repeat the pattern of the London club’s previous four league matches if he does score first.
The Cottagers are also undefeated on the road since they lost to Manchester City on January 19th and will undoubtedly prove a tough nut to crack for the Magpies.
However, Newcastle’s recent home form in the league has been commendable, winning their last three matches at St James’ Park, and they will go into the clash full of confidence, despite that defeat in Portugal on Thursday evening.
Victories over Stoke, Southampton and Chelsea have all come whilst conceding goals though, and with Fulham on a decent run of form I am steering clear of backing a Newcastle win and instead advising bwin customers to back both teams to score in the match.
This outcome is priced at 3/5, and new customers backing ‘yes’ in the both teams to score market with their free £20 bet would pocket easy winnings of £32 if successful.