Newcastle United vs Norwich City
(Demba Ba's scored goals & goals & goals when played through the middle - maybe he has a point?)
Backing sides after they've competed in Europe in midweek is usually a sure way to the poor house but at only just a shade of odds on Newcastle United look value to beat Norwich who've been pretty disappointing so far this season. Chris Hughton returns to Newcastle without a win under his belt in the league with his East Anglian side, they took a beating on the opening day from Fulham & have since played out three rather dour draws against Spurs, QPR & West Ham. The big positive here is that Alan Pardew showed what his priorities are by fielding a second string side in Portugal in the Europa League meaning he clearly sees this as a game he's desperate to win.
We felt that Norwich really over performed last year as they don't have an awful lot of quality throughout the side & tend to only have one tactic which is getting it out wide & whipping in crosses to star striker Grant Holt. They didn't lose any players in the summer but that was because no other club wanted them & the transfer activity they undertook themselves didn't impress us with Robert Snodgrass from Leeds maybe their biggest piece of business.
Newcastle burst into a bit of life against Everton on Monday playing some good football in periods, they were certainly fortunate to get a point thanks to some pretty awful work by the linesman on two occasions, but overall they showed more than enough to be strong favourites to win at home here. Newcastle can gain their first win since the opening day at odds of 4/5 - they are as short as 8/15 elsewhere so punters should get their bets on early before this ace value disappears. Striker Demba Ba & his agent have been making plenty of noise in the media but Newcastle can cope with that on the pitch & don't let that put you off a golden wager.
Bury vs MK Dons
(Ryan Lowe returns to his old Gigg Lane haunting ground)
League One sees bottom of the table Bury entertain MK Dons at the Gigg Lane Stadium, the home side have made an awful start with four defeats & no victories in their seven league matches. Last season the Dons gained 80 points to Bury's 56, so averaging over 1/2 a point more per game & the gap in quality between the two sides looks to be even bigger this year as Bury just haven't been able to get a thing going so far. It looked like a battling draw away to big boys Sheffield United might be able to kickstart Bury's season but they then went & got thumped 3-0 by Tranmere on the same weekend that MK Dons put in a convincing display, controlling possession when beating highflyers Yeovil 1-0.
The only worry with MK Dons in this one is that they haven't really hit the goalscoring trail yet with 7 in their 7 league games & only the youngster Daniel Powell having hit the back of the net twice - he only scored 6 league goals in 41 appearances last year so they can't be relying on him too heavily. Luckily they are up against a porous Bury defence that have already conceded 12 this season & let 79 goals in last year & they've only scored 5 themselves this time around. Bury just don't have a proven goalscorer & they look in serious danger of relegation this year, they could come face to face with ex-favourite Ryan Lowe as he's now with the Dons. At odds of Evens MK Dons should be backed to heap more misery upon the Shakers.
Newcastle United to beat Norwich City at 4/5 (Bet365 & Bodog)
MK Dons to beat Bury at Evens (General)