Steve Bruce says he suffered his most difficult 48 hours in football following Sunderland’s 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Newcastle at St James’ Park last season and a 1-1 draw in the return fixture earlier this year hardly provided the closure he was looking for.
The Black Cats have another chance of revenge tomorrow though and enter the match as evens favourites to earn all three points in their second league game of the season.
Meanwhile, a win for Newcastle is priced at 13/5 and a draw at 23/10.
Both sides go into the fixture following similar starts to their 2011-12 Premier League campaigns.
An impressive second-half performance from the Black Cats saw them salvage a point against Liverpool at Anfield last week, while Newcastle drew 0-0 with Arsenal at St James’ Park.
However, Newcastle have the edge in the recent head-to-head record between the two sides, winning six of the last ten matches.
This suggests there is value in bwin’s 2Way special football betting market, where Newcastle are 8/5 to win with the stake returned if the match ends in a draw.
Even so, Sunderland could yet be the best bets to secure only their second win against their north-east rivals in 11 games.
Manager Steve Bruce has had an extremely busy summer, bringing in nine new players with a view to improving his squad.
His counterpart Alan Pardew, on the other hand, has seen senior players Kevin Nolan and Jose Enrique follow Andy Carroll out of the St James’ Park exit door.
Although four new faces have been added, Newcastle look weaker now than they did this time last year, making a repeat of their 5-1 victory highly unlikely.
Indeed, with Sunderland looking impressive in defence against Liverpool and clean sheets a feature of Newcastle’s pre-season campaign, goals could be at a premium at the Stadium of Light.
With this in mind, a punt on there to be fewer than 2.5 goals looks attractive at odds of 7/10, especially as only two of the last six games between the two sides have featured three goals or more.
Given expectation of few goals and the Black Cats’ newfound superiority on paper, a 1-0 win for Sunderland therefore looks the best option at odds of 13/2 in the regular time goal bet market.
A successful £25 free bet on Sunderland to win 1-0, available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account, would return £187.50.
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