Norwich showed some promising signs last week and can get at least a point here thanks to their top scorer from last season, says Jamie Pacheco.
"All things considered, I can’t see Norwich losing this match in light of all those stats mentioned at the beginning and I’m sufficiently convinced by goal-related ones to think we’ll get at least three in this match."
Norwich v Newcastle
Saturday August 17, 15:00
Don't read too much into Anfield hammering
A 4-1 hammering away at Anfield doesn't look great on paper but it was hardly the sort of result or performance that would have worried Daniel Farke.
For starters, Liverpool aren't a team the German would have expected to go away to and gotten anything from. Secondly, Norwich created plenty of chances in the game and could well have gone a goal up, having had two or three opportunities from good positions.
Thirdly, it was also notable how much they improved after the break, not just because they scored and didn't concede any further goals, but also in terms of the level of their performance.
Personally, I think that promoted sides who try to be positive and have a go have a better chance of staying up than those who just try to defend and have no Plan B when they concede. With that in mind, there are several other sides in the league I'd make second-favourites for the drop ahead of the Canaries.
Talent in attack but tough season ahead
I don't think there's much point going into the ins and outs of whether Steve Bruce is the right man for the job at Newcastle.
The fact is that he's been appointed, he's the manager now and Bruce, the fans and the players just have to get on with it.
Whatever you think of Newcastle's prospects this season, at least their attack looks in better shape than in previous campaigns. Miguel Almiron looks an exciting talent and will be better for having had a few games under his belt from last season while Allan Saint-Maximin can also provide the sort of unpredictability that they've perhaps been lacking over the last few years.
As for striker Joelinton, he's one of those players who could be a big hit or a big flop. If it's the latter, he could well become a real fan's favourite and make Bruce's job a whole lot easier.
Norwich short enough
How's this for a lack of faith in Bruce and Newcastle: newly-promoted Norwich, fresh from losing 4-1 last week, are warm favourites to beat a side who finds a way of beating the drop year after year and has spent quite heavily in the transfer window.
One reason for that could be the long-term stats, courtesy of Opta. Norwich are unbeaten at home against Newcastle in the Premier League in their last six, the north east club have won just two of their last 28 PL games away that were played in August, while Bruce really doesn't like facing this lot while managing a Premier League team. Three visits here with Birmingham, Sunderland and Hull respectively all ended in defeat.
There's also a stat about the last four Newcastle managers losing their first away match in charge in the Premier League. These stats certainly don't paint a pretty picture for Newcastle so a lay of the visitors at 3.45 looks a pretty safe option.
We haven't yet seen enough of Norwich to think they justify a quote of just 2.35/4, though. The draw, conveniently also the outsider of the three at 3.55/2, looks your best bet.
A look at the last four fixtures between these two will surely have you reaching for the 'overs' buttons on 2.5 goals (17/20) and 3.5 goals (23/10). They ended 2-2, 4-3, 3-2 and 6-2. That said, matches between the two going back further were much lower-scoring.
And Newcastle's away matches last season against relegation strugglers shows things were a lot tighter with a 1-1 draw at Brighton, a 1-0 win at Huddersfield, a 0-0 at Cardiff and only a last-day-of-the-season 4-0 win at Fulham standing out.
But still. Whether by freak occurrence or not, this fixture has thrown up a lot of goals of late and perhaps the most comforting stat to back up the chances of more here is Norwich's home record in The Championship last season, with a remarkably high 74% of their matches going over 2.5 goals at Carrow Road.
Teemu Pukki is one of those strikers who is as unpleasing on the eye (think Darren Bent or Steve Naismith) as he is effective. Consider this: he's scored with his first shot on target in each of his last eight seasons, across four different clubs. That includes his effort against Liverpool on Friday night, of course.
And there's more to the Finnish striker than just that quirky stat, though. Last season he scored 29 goals in The Championship to make him the highest scorer in the division, a further six for his country and one in the League Cup. Not many players in the world would have got to that 36 number last season; not bad for a Finnish Norwich City striker.
He'll be eyeing up this is a game where he can add to his tally and I'm eyeing up his price of 7/5.
Given no-one in Newcastle's team scored any more than four goals last season (and that was defender Fabian Schar) and that it's too early to be backing Newcastle's new boys until we've seen more of them, it's best to leave the visitors' players alone.
All things considered, I can't see Norwich losing this match in light of all those stats mentioned at the beginning and I'm sufficiently convinced by goals ones to think we'll get at least three in this match. Combining Norwich/Draw on the double chance market (1/3) and over 2.5 goals (17/10) comes to a very reasonable 2.82.
Jamie's 2019/20 P and L
Points Staked: 1
Points Returned: 0
P and L: -1pts