Amid the many moralising column inches generated by the unseemly contretemps between Papiss Cisse and Johnny Evans, the impact of the players’ respective bans on their sides has received little discussion.
Evans’ six-match suspension is far from ideal for Manchester United, but their unusually injury-free squad is more than capable of soaking up his absence.
The same cannot be said of Newcastle and their prospects of finding the net without their top scorer.
John Carver’s side are 73/100 to score under 8.5 goals during Cisse’s seven-game sin binning, while the bwin layers make nine strikes or more during his ban the even-money underdog.
Newcastle’s leading Premier-League marksman by a margin of six despite missing 14 games through injury, suspension and Africa Cup of Nations duty, his 11 goals count for more than a third of the club’s 32 in the division this season.
However, those numbers fail to fully illustrate both his importance to the cause and how lethal he has been in 2014/15.
Averaging 0.97 league goals per 90 minutes on the pitch, not one player in the division to play more than seven games can claim to be as efficient a marksman, with Sergio Aguero operating at 0.93 and Diego Costa at 0.86.
Over the season as a whole, Newcastle average 1.14 strikes an outing, a ratio that drops only slightly to 1.10 per game when Cisse plays no part.
That ratio drops further to exactly one per game in league matches without the former Freiburg man under the stewardship of John Carver – three of those four goals in as many games came in the New Year’s Day farce against Burnley too.
A continuation of that form over the course of Cisse’s seven-match ban would reward under 8.5 goals backers with one to spare, yet a look at their fixture list makes the wager seem snugger still.
The Magpies travel to Everton, Sunderland and Liverpool inside their next four fixtures, also hosting Arsenal and Tottenham before the striker is next available.