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Maritimo v Newcastle: Goals not on the agenda in Madeira

| 20.09.2012

Newcastle face a tough test against Maritimo in their opening Europa League encounter.

The hosts are yet to taste defeat in competitive action this season and are the 13/10 favourites to send the Toon home from the Portuguese coast empty-handed.

A late Joao Guilherme strike preserved that record when Sporting Lisbon visited the Estadio dos Barreiros in their last game, but this resolute performance against one of Europe’s finest showed their strength on home soil.

Newcastle, who have left first choice frontmen Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse on Tyneside, will find it tough going in Madeira and are yet to win away from the Sports Direct Arena this term.

Their price of 21/10 is worth overlooking for this reason but, with the absence of big name strikers and Maritimo’s partiality to quiet games, betting on a low-scoring affair is where the value is at.

A home win with two goals or fewer scored is a very profitable combination at 3/1 given no Maritimo game has produced more than this total so far this season.

Another avenue to explore if you want to pick up a windfall is the 5/2 on offer for the hosts to win to nil, as has been the case in Maritimo’s three victories this term.

Maritimo, who qualified for this competition off the back of a fifth-place finish in the Portuguese Liga, have scored both of their league goals in the second halves of games and a price of 6/4 says they will have more joy finding the net after the break than in the first half.

Guilherme scored both of these and, for the defender’s golden touch to continue, he can be backed at 25/1 to break the deadlock, whereas Newcastle teenager Adam Campbell is an 8/1 shot to open his Magpies account with final the goal of the game.

Finally, the 8/13 that Ladbrokes are offering for the game to produce under 2.5 goals is as good as free money with both teams set to struggle to beat the opposition goalkeeper in this one.

All odds and markets correct as of publication



James Middleton