Newcastle players thumbing through the sports sections in the build up to their visit to Arsenal have every right to be flabbergasted with the odds on offer about their second win in a week.
A whopping 11/2 seems to reflect the fact that they last beat the Gunners seven games ago, rather than the truth that they shrugged off an injury crisis to beat Chelsea last time out.
Arsenal are a slim-line 9/20 for three points at their Geordie assailants’ expense, while the draw is priced up at 10/3, yet there’s a compelling case for backing the visitors at 8/5 in the double-chance market at the very least, if not for outright victory.
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Newcastle have lost once in their last nine games, winning seven times.
You’d hate to be the other halves of those stubborn enough to still be toting their ‘ (Alan) Pardew Out’ banners after such a giddy run of form.
Perhaps more impressively they’ve produced that point-drenched sequence despite being dogged by injuries and suspensions to key players throughout.
Coping with Steven Taylor’s suspension should well within their compass.
The Magpies will be buzzing after ending Chelsea’s bid for ‘Invincibles’ immortality.
Pardew’s men have every right to be feeling pretty unbeatable right now having taken out a side that many pundits realistically thought could go through the campaign unbeaten.
It’s by no means certain that they won with an unsustainable intensity either.
In the wake of toppling the Blues last term they won four of their next five games, including away at Tottenham next time out and at Old Trafford.
Arsenal have failed to win after four of their last six Champions League games.
While Newcastle have spent the week contemplating this fixture, some of the Gunners’ first-team players were in Turkey to face Galatasaray.
Yes their favoured attacking talent failed to make the trip, but the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Per Mertesacker and Calum Chambers all featured.
Meanwhile players Arsene Wenger may have rely upon to change the game from the bench against the Magpies (Lukas Podolski, Yaya Sanogo and Joel Campbell) played 90 minutes each.
Only Burnley have fallen to the Gunners by more than a single goal in league games at the Emirates this season.
Even with the aforementioned rested players in the line-up home wins have been a matter of fine margins for the Arsenal in 2014/15, with last-gasp goals required to down Crystal Palace and ten-man Southampton.