2 pts West Bromwich Albion to beat Newcastle in the Championship 13/10 Bet365 (Saturday 8th August 5.30pm ko – Live on the BBC)
blog price comment: that price has now gone best available as I type is 11/10 Betfred
As you can probably tell from my ante post preview, I’m not expecting Newcastle to do very well this season. The club is in turmoil. Owner Mike Ashley cannot sell the club for love nor money and until he does everything is in limbo. Alan Shearer has now made television commitments for the new season and probably won’t be their new manager, which may not be a bad thing. As it stands, Chris Hughton is caretaker boss and he is literally working on a week by week basis, knowing that somebody else is likely to come in and take over sooner rather than later. Consequently, Newcastle have brought in no new players and are slowly offloading their top earners. Michael Owen, Obafemi Martins, David Edgar, Sebastian Bassong and Habib Beye have all left the club whilst Danny Guthrie is currently injured. The departures or Owen and Martins severely weaken the Newcastle attack but even more crucial is the departure of defenders Bassong and Beye, leaving a threadbare looking back line. They were beaten 6-1 by Leyton Orient in a pre season friendly recently and their preparations for the new season could not have been any worse.
West Brom have lost manager Tony Mowbray to Celtic but they have a promising replacement in Roberto Di Matteo and more importantly, they have kept their squad together. Scott Carson, Giannni Zuiverloon, Neil Clemet, Robert Koren, Jonathan Greening, Chris Brunt and James Morrison should all do very well at this level whilst Swindon’s prolific goalscorer Simon Cox has been added to the attack. The Baggies are favourites to win the Championship and I don’t think you will get too many opportunities to back them at odds against this season. Newcastle are artificially short for the title in my opinion just because of the size of the club. They will be a major scalp to every Championship side and I think they will be lucky to scrape into the play offs once everything has been sorted out. West Brom should really be odds on in my opinion and I can see money coming for them before kickof.
The Oracle
The Oracle is a professional soccer odds compiler by trade.
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