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Newcastle v Sunderland: Ba to bounce back to settle crunch derby

| 03.03.2012

Demba Ba has endured a rare barren streak in front of goal of late, but there are strong reasons to expect him to open the scoring in the Tyne-Wear derby at 9/2.

Ba has been a revelation since signing for Newcastle in the summer, already netting 16 Premier League goals this season.

However, he is on the verge of going three Premier League starts for the Magpies without a goal for the first time.

But the good news for Ba is that Sunderland have not kept out Newcastle in the last 23 derbies between the pair, while the confidence of the visitors may have taken a knock from their 4-0 defeat to West Brom in their latest top-flight outing, their heaviest reverse of the season.

Punters wanting to play it safer can alternatively get 6/5 that Ba finds the target at any time in the 90 minutes.

If Ba does open the scoring this will enhance the already strong feeling that Newcastle can register victory.

Newcastle’s odds are 11/10 to triumph and they have won eight of their last 14 Premier League meetings with Sunderland.

Meanwhile, Sunderland have emerged victorious on just one occasion in this period.

Although, they have not lost three straight games since April and it is 5/2 that Sunderland claim local bragging rights.

Furthermore, Sunderland fans may be buoyed by the news that manager Martin O’Neill won all four derbies during his time at Aston Villa against midland rivals Birmingham.

The draw that will effectively help neither team in their respective ambitions this season can be backed at 9/4.

Punters fancying the draw may also be smart to take the 5/1 on offer for a 1-1 stalemate, with the duo never having played out a goalless draw in the history of the Premier League.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.