Sports Betting Weekly

Newcastle United v Arsenal

When: Saturday, 21 March 2015 @ 20:00 (FINISHED)
Where: St James Park
Following the Arsenal’s superb form on the domestic front, where they have now closed the gap on second-placed Manchester City to just one point, manager Arsene Wenger could be forgiven for taking the day off ahead of his side’s trip to Newcastle on Saturday – something that the majority of opposite number John Carver’s players seem to have done some time ago.

With seven straight wins in English-based competitions, the Gunners are displaying title-winning form and would be doing so at just the right time if they hadn’t realistically shot themselves in the foot during a stuttering start to the campaign. Additionally, Wenger has taken his side into the F.A. Cup quarter-finals for a second consecutive year by beating Manchester United at Old Trafford – Arsenal’s first win at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ since 2006 – and but for the brilliant reflexes of David de Gea, the 2-1 scoreline in that game could have been a lot more flattering for the Gunners.

So good has their recent run been that it even prompted a response from Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho, last week, with the Portuguese manager cleverly bringing up Arsenal’s UEFA Champions League loss to Monaco in order to draw media attention away from their impressive domestic form.

Newcastle, on the other hand, look like they’ve been phoning in performances for a couple of months now. The Magpies have only mustered two wins from a possible 11 as temporary manager, Carver, tackles the unenviable task of making another nothing season for the Toon seem bearable.

Questions will be raised as to why there wasn’t more urgency shown in the F.A. Cup – where Newcastle went out following a tame performance at Leicester in the third round – and you do wonder whether they’d swap mid-table secruity to be in Aston Villa’s position; in for a tense end to the season, granted, but probably safe and with a Wembley semi-final date to look forward to.

Fortunately for Newcastle fans, there are only nine games left between now and the end of the season, where their loyal following will be hoping to see some ambition shown by the club they hold so dear up north. Unfortunately, however, things look like they’ll get worse before they get better, starting with this weekend’s match against Arsenal. It’s very hard to see past a Gunners win and the bookies echo this sentiment – Arsenal are 3/4 to record the win, while a Newcastle victory is 24/5.

Frenchman Olivier Giroud is in red hot form for the Gunners at present and has opened the scoring for the North London club in three of their last four domestic games, earning us a tidy profit in the process. He is 9/2 to repeat the trick of netting first in Newcastle on Saturday and 6/5 to score anytime. As for Newcastle’s threat in front of goal, Ayoze Perez is allegedly courting interest from both Manchester clubs after proving to be a rare bright light in an otherwise dark season for the Magpies. The Spaniard is 9/1 to score first here and 13/2 to net anytime in the game.