Casting our eyes over bwin.com’s extensive Premier League menu for the final fixtures in November, there was one particularly flavoursome-looking dish – Newcastle’s price to win on the road at West Ham.
The Magpies are installed as 23/10 outsiders to prevail in their Saturday assignment at the Boleyn Ground and here is why that looks a ripper.
The only natural place to start is the form book. In this respect Alan Pardew’s visitors take the laurels hands down.
Only Premier League leaders and odds-on favourites for the title Chelsea can claim to be enjoying as good a run of form as West Ham’s guests.
Like Chelsea, Newcastle are unbeaten in their last six league games, but crucially they’ve won five consecutively before arriving in east London.
Meanwhile, Sam Allardyce’s buccaneering Irons of October – where they recorded three straight victories – have misplaced their mojo in November.
Just two out of nine points have been picked up in the subsequent three games in the penultimate month of the year, as the bubble has burst somewhat under the weight of injuries.
A disappointing 0-0 draw at home to lowly Aston Villa was then followed up by defeat at Everton last time out and top scorer Diafra Sakho‘s lay-off with a back injury is bound to have a detrimental effect.
Any side in the league would miss the Senegalese sensation, who had netted in seven games consecutively prior to the Villa match.
However, there are also major doubts over Alex Song, Mark Noble and Enner Valencia, while centre-half Winston Reid is suspended for this one.
There are no such fears for emerging Newcastle star Ayoze Perez however, who has notched three times in his last four Premier League appearances.
Skipper Fabricio Coloccini’s expected return should also provide a major boost to Pardew’s side, who seem to have timed this trip to London perfectly.