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Both teams to find the target as Newcastle host Stoke

| 24.12.2013

After the turbulence of the previous campaign, the Newcastle ship sails smoothly once more with the Toon unwrapping their Christmas presents from the lofty perch of sixth.

Six wins and a draw from their previous eight outings makes the odds attributed to Alan Pardew’s men to beat Stoke very reasonable at 4/5, especially when you compare this with the more dreary form of the Potters, who have collected just three wins in the same time frame.

The away side, therefore, shouldn’t be touched at 7/2, though the fact that half of their last eight games ended all square the 5/2 Ladbrokes are offering for the draw isn’t the ugliest duckling bobbing around the drink this Christmas.

Mark Hughes’ men have swerved defeat in three of their previous four road games, though are yet to siphon three away points since a surprise win at West Ham to sign off August.

Both them and their opponent has bagged in three of their last five away games, something that’s been the case in six of their eight Premier League meetings with Newcastle.

A fair price of 10/11 has been pledged for a seventh instalment in nine when the duo does battle at St James’ Park, with four of the eight affairs seeing the home side emerge victorious.

Assuming the home side come out on top, with the form book suggesting they probably will, a dabble on the odds of 16/5 that combines both aforementioned eventualities could be a smart move, while there’s also a bit of mileage in the 7/2 for the score draw.

Further examination of the recent results these two have churned out when facing off has put goals on the forecast.

Only one of their eight top-tier tussles have fallen shy of the 2.5-goal mark, making the 2/1 available for over 2.5 strikes here in unison with a Magpies win well worth a couple of quid.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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James Middleton