Newcastle v Cardiff Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
January 15, 2019
St James' Park - Premier League
Newcastle look to avoid a second consecutive week in the bottom three as they look to leapfrog Saturday's opponents Cardiff. The Bluebirds have improved exponentially over the last two months, but are without a win in three, including a cup loss to Gillingham.
In what, from the score, looked a dull match, the scoreless draw between the two sides in August was livened up by a red card to Newcastle's Isaac Hayden, and a missed penalty in the final minute.
Mohamed Diame, Paul Dummett and Jonjo Shelvey remain out for the home side, who are short on midfielders, especially given Rafa Benitez's desire to rotate following their mid-week fixture. Ki Sung-yueng is on international duty, although at least the Magpies can welcome back Florian Lejeune, who featured against Chelsea last weekend.
Victor Camarasa and Harry Arter are expected to continue their double-act in central midfield, with Nathaniel Mendez-Laing maintaining his spot on the left flank. Despite making a club record bid for striker Emiliano Sala, the club are unlikely to seal the transfer in time for Saturday's game.
Newcastle v Cardiff Preview and Predictions
With nearly half of the season's fixtures yet to be played, Saturday's tie between Newcastle and Cardiff smacks of a battle for Premier League survival.
Following a strong season last year, Benitez's Mapgies side have paid the price for failing to spend in the transfer market. Despite the sale of Aleksandr Mitrovic the club didn’t reinvest the funds into a striker of a similar calibre, with Saloman Rondon hitting just five so far this term.
Cardiff have suffered from a similar problem, vastly underspending in the transfer window, especially in comparison to their fellow promotees. From the first three months of the season, it seemed as if this was certain to doom the Welsh side to relegation, however, a recent resurgence has muddied the water.
The Bluebirds have discovered the defensive solidarity that saw them finish second in the championship last season, despite an abundance of goal-scorers. Furthermore, with the owner finally dipping into the transfer funds to bid for twelve goal Nantes forward Sala, the club may finally offer a threat at the other end of the pitch.
A win for Cardiff on Saturday could see them leapfrog to being level on points with Crystal Palace, in relative safety. For Newcastle, the match provides an opportunity to surpass their opponents, pushing the Bluebirds into the relegation zone. Whichever team wins, it could say a lot about their chance of survival.
Rondon to score anytime at 11/10
The Venezuelan striker works hard off the ball and deserves a better goal ratio
Newcastle to win 1-0 at 6/1
This should be a narrow game but Newcastle have the edge at home