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Toon resilience to deal Arsenal’s title chances another blow

| 27.12.2013

For a brief moment at West Ham, all four wheels came off the Arsenal title cart, but thanks to a Theo Walcott brace and Lukas Podolski strike they managed to re-attach the set and rolled to the top of the Premier League ahead of their trip to Tyneside.

The Gunners’ 19/20 odds for victory at Newcastle, however, could do with being a little longer, irrespective of their lofty league standing, given the fact that there are fewer sides across the globe in better knick than the Toon at present.

At 14/5 there’ll be plenty of takers of the Magpies’ price for a home win, while the 13/5-rated draw isn’t out of the question either, or so the fact that three of the previous five meetings here have yielded this outcome insinuates.

The 21/25 that says the home team will not lose, however, looks the pick of the bunch price-wise.

True to their madcap identity, the only loss Newcastle have suffered on their own patch this term came in bizarre fashion against Hull. Following that mid-September slip up, Alan Pardew’s men racked up four wins and two draws from the six home games to follow with sides of Liverpool’s and Chelsea’s might unable to get the better of them.

In terms of away records, no club has traveled better than Arsenal this season, but defeats to both Manchester teams in their previous four Premier League road trips and a few hairy moments against the Hammers suggest that they’re about to lose footing at the top of the away-form ladder.

Something that will encourage those banking on a good day for Arsene Wenger’s charges, though, is that in each of the north Londoners’ last three away days, they’ve scored exactly three goals.

In terms of interesting side bets, this definitely adds value to the 23/20 for them to notch between two and three at St James’, while over 2.5 away goals may also appeal at 12/5.

A strong Newcastle backline that’s only conceded multiple goals in a single game just once in their last nine top tier outings is unlikely to allow Arsenal enough chances to find the net three times though, while the resilience they’ve shown to avoid defeat in all bar one of these matches means the Gunners are in for another stern test of their title mettle.

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

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James Middleton