Leeds United take on Newcastle in a friendly at Elland Road this afternoon with less than a week to go before the start of the 2011-12 Championship campaign.
The Whites are playing their final preparation game before they start their promotion bid although boss Simon Grayson has conceded that the players still have a lot of work to do to be ready for the new season.
Leeds’ first-team players’ last outing was a 1-1 draw with Norwegian second division side Sandefjord on Tuesday, with Grayson labelling the performance “sloppy”, “slow” and “pedestrian”.
With this in mind, it is no surprise that Leeds go into the match against Newcastle as 2/1 underdogs in bwin’s 3Way football betting market.
The Magpies are favourites at odds of 11/10, with a draw priced at 23/10.
Nevertheless, Newcastle assistant boss John Carver believes Leeds will offer his side their most exacting test of the summer so far.
As such, he expects to see Magpies manager Alan Pardew field a side which will closely resemble the starting XI for the first game of the season against Arsenal, despite the Premier League season not starting for another two weeks.
“I think you’ll probably get more of an idea of where we are in pre-season after this game,” he told the Northern Echo.
“It’s a perfect test for us really.”
Newcastle have played three pre-season friendlies so far this summer, beating Darlington 2-0 before embarking on a tour of North America.
While in the US, the Magpies drew with Kansas City 0-0 and won 3-0 against Columbus Crew.
As they are yet to concede a goal and with Grayson worried about Leeds’ form, a good bet could be on at least one of the teams to keep a clean sheet.
At odds of 27/20, a successful £25 free bet on at least one team failing to score in the match, available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account, would return £58.75.
Newcastle’s cause is also helped by their impressive recent record against their opponents this afternoon.
Although the two sides haven’t played competitively since 2004, Leeds have won just two of their last ten matches, with Newcastle winning six.
Given this, even a bet on Leeds United to win or draw in the double chance market could be one to avoid at odds of 31/50.
New customers can register here to claim a £25 free bet.
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