Mid-table Everton head to a resurgent Newcastle for Boxing Day's tea-time kick off. Luke Moore takes a look...
"Newcastle are far more generously priced at 3.259/4, and that holds more interest for me. I see Everton as a free-scoring but soft-centred side, and with McClaren's men on a good run his team have to be the pick of this market."
Newcastle v Everton
Saturday December 26, 17:30
Live on BT Sport 1
Steve McClaren's men are on the best run in the league since February, having avoided defeat in their last three games. Two of those results (the wins against Spurs and Liverpool) were genuinely impressive and did appear to look like the Magpies have turned a corner.
Newcastle are now out of the relegation zone, if only by a couple of points, and psychologically that is a big boost going into a tricky tie against a free-scoring Everton side. That said, the Toon have beaten a better side than the Toffeemen fairly recently and this game should hold no fear for them.
Papiss Cisse is likely to miss out due to a groin injury.
Roberto Martinez's Everton have been picking up plaudits for how their frontmen have been playing - Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu have all shown great inspiration, and Lukaku especially is showing consistency in goalscoring, perhaps for the first time in his career, scoring in eight successive matches.
The problem is, Everton aren't actually winning games. They've won just two of their last ten and none of their last four. Newcastle present an opportunity for Martinez and his charges; yes they're resurgent but they also have obvious weaknesses.
Phil Jagielka is still out with a knee injury, and Steven Naismith is trying to shake off an ankle problem.
The away side are big favourites for this game, priced at 2.3811/8, and I'm not sure why given that they don't actually win very often, are away from home, and their opponents have won two of their last three. This market appears to be priced up on reputation, and I can't have Everton at that mark.
Newcastle are far more generously priced at 3.259/4, and that holds more interest for me. I see Everton as a free-scoring but soft-centred side, and with McClaren's men on a good run his team have to be the pick of this market.
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
This game will have goals in it, I'm almost certain. 1.910/11 is a decent-enough price too - neither team can really defend consistently well and it's hard to make an argument against both teams finding the back of the net at least once.
I'm not going anywhere near Unders, put it that way. If you like it though, it's trading at 2.166/5.
Draw No Bet
If you don't completely trust Newcastle, the Draw No Bet market gives you a nice insurance should the home side misfire. 2.35/4 should be available on the St James's Park outfit in this market, which hands you your stake back should the game finish in a draw.
Back Newcastle in the Draw No Bet market at 2.3 or bigger (2pts)
Back Over 2.5 Goals at 1.910/11 (2pts)
Luke Moore 2015-16 Premier League P/L
2014/15 P/L: +4.92pts