Sheffield United welcome Newcastle to Bramall Lane for Super Sunday's primetime Premier League clash. Betfair writer Mark O'Haire is backing the Blades to be competitive here.
Sheff Utd proving tough to beat
Newcastle falling short of expectations
Asian Handicap offers Blades value
Sheffield United 7.06/1 chief Paul Heckingbottom cut an upset and frustrated figure after overseeing the Blades' gut-wrenching last-minute loss at Tottenham last weekend. His game plan to stymie the hosts had worked to a tee and Gustavo Hamer's clinical finish had given the newly-promoted strugglers every chance of picking up a shock away victory.
Two goals deep into stoppage-time turned the tables on Sheff Utd and Heckingbottom's side arrive at MD6 possessing only a solitary point despite a series of battling displays. The Blades have been beaten by the narrowest of margins in all four of their Premier League losses thus far, despite already facing two of the early season pacesetters.
As Sheffield United were licking their wounds, Newcastle 1.528/15 were involved in midweek Champions League action, their first appearance at the top table of European football after a 20-year absence. A goalless draw against Milan in a packed San Siro appears a creditable result, although Eddie Howe's side were far from their best and fortunate to avoid defeat.
A mixture of good saves from Nick Pope, and poor finishing from the Rossoneri, ensured the game ended all-square. AC won the overall shot count 25-6, with 16 efforts to just two arriving from inside the penalty area; the home side squandered four Big Chances and produced an Expected Goals (xG) output of 1.99 compared to just 0.28 xG from the Toon.
Bar an opening day destruction of Aston Villa, the team from Tyneside have struggled to reach top gear and so the 1.528/15 available on a Newcastle victory here appears far too short to support. Admittedly facing a tough early season schedule, the Magpies have still failed to fire on their travels and look opposable in the Asian Handicap market.
Sheffield United +1.0 & +1.5 in the Asian Handicap can be supported at 1.865/6 and rewards punters with a full-stakes pay-out should the Blades win or draw, whilst a defeat by a one-goal margin would still see backers pick-up a half-stakes profit. The only way this particular play won't make money is if Newcastle run out winners by two strikes or more.
Since the beginning of last season, Newcastle have covered a -1 handicap just five times on the road and Sheffield United have proven against both Manchester City and Spurs that they're well capable of stifling more illustrious opposition.