Tenth-placed Stoke are in great form as they go north to play John Carver's Newcastle and Joe Dyer can't resist getting against the home side...
"Stoke bring real momentum to St James' Park after bookending a 4-1 FA Cup romp at Rochdale with successive victories over likely relegation candidates, Leicester and QPR."
Newcastle v Stoke
Sunday February 8, 14:05
Live on Sky Sports 1
The Toon snapped a nasty losing streak with a 3-0 beating of Hull last weekend. Alan Pardew's departure had left the Magpies listing for a week or so, and the appointment of John Carver was not greeted with wholesale support from the faithful, so the comprehensive dismantling of a poor Hull side was timely.
Carver has most of his first team available for selection with African Cup of Nations' finalist Cheick Tiote the major absence.
After an in-and-out first half of the season Stoke are purring along now with four wins in six top-flight games since Boxing Day. The good sequence includes a pair of away victories with Everton and Leicester both shut out and beaten by a lone goal. They come into the game having beaten QPR 3-1 last time out with Jon Walters scoring all three goals.
Mark Hughes has problems in both defence and attack. Ryan Shawcross has been nursing a back injury, playing just 41 minutes against QPR after missing the Leicester win and is a doubt for the match. Upfront Bojan is out, probably for the rest of the season, while Mame Biram Diouf has returned from the African Cup of Nations and could make the lineup.
The home side trade at 2.3211/8 for the win which looks a tickle short to me. Victories have been a rare commodity for the Toon ever since West Ham ended a stunning six-game winning streak back in late November. Since then just three Premier League fixtures have ended in Newcastle's favour out of 12 played.
By contrast Stoke bring real momentum to St James' Park after bookending a 4-1 FA Cup romp at Rochdale with successive victories over likely relegation candidates, Leicester and QPR.
It's tough to split the Potters and the draw with the away side available at a tempting 3.55 and the stalemate 3.412/5.
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
The market is keen on Unders with the low goals total priced at 1.84/5. It's understandably favourite but is not a bet for me. Neither team is especially strong defensively with just 11 clean sheets between them - in fact Newcastle's shutout of Hull was their first since late November when they beat the Premier League's worst away side, QPR, 1-0.
Stoke have shown improved defensive form recently but their attack has also been firing, too, scoring four against Rochdale and then following up by putting three past QPR.
A schizophrenic Newcastle outfit veers between high-scoring games and failing to score.
If pushed for a bet I'd wager this game will break the 2.5 mark so odds-against on Over 2.5 is of appeal.
Sidemarket Selection - Draw No Bet
Given I think a stalemate is a big runner it seems a little perverse to put up this bet combined with a bet on Overs, but there's method in my madness (I think).
I fancy both teams to score (so that's a minimum of two goals) and I don't think Stoke will lose. If it's a draw we get a refund, but hopefully the Potters will edge an entertaining fixture and we'll get paid out on both bets.
Back Stoke Draw No Bet @ 2.47/5 or better
Back Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.226/5
Joe Dyer's Premier League P/L
Staked: 26.5 pts
Returned: 16.24 pts
P/L: -10.26 pts