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West Brom v Newcastle: Magpies’ setback disposal squad to prosper

| 31.12.2013

A major reason why Newcastle are just four points shy of the Champions League pace at the halfway stage and three better off than they were 19 games into their heroic 2011/12 campaign is their ability to shrug off disappointment, no matter how severe.

Their last three Premier League losses were all followed by victories, and they were pretty brutal defeats too, demonstrating the character of Alan Pardew’s Franglais ensemble.

There was the first-half annihilation at Everton, which prompted what in hindsight was laughable talk of Pardew being sacked, that was sidelined with a 2-1 victory at Cardiff.

Then came a 2-1 shaming by marooned rivals Sunderland, rebelled against with the 2-0 dissection of Chelsea, and a 3-0 whitewash at Swansea that provoked a 1-0 riposte at Old Trafford three days later.

Compared to those calamities, a 0-1 reverse to leaders Arsenal in which they were unfortunate not to collect a point should prove easy to overcome, yet they are a handsome 17/10 to triumph away to West Brom.

The Baggies are marginal 8/5 favourites despite the nine-match winless run that caused their current managerless state, with a fourth straight draw under caretaker Keith Downing at 12/5 surely a more attractive flutter for those refusing to oppose the hosts.

However, there is much incentive for sticking with the 17/10 on Newcastle, who are unbeaten in four meetings with West Brom, prevailing on three of their last six league visits to The Hawthorns.

The Magpies sunk them 2-1 on Tyneside in late November and have a superior win rate away (56%) than at home (50%) this term. West Brom by contrast are without success in four in front of their fans, vanquished in two of those.

Popular wide forward Yoan Gouffran broke the deadlock in the reverse fixture, one of three occasions that he has performed that honour in the past two months, and is 8/1 to fire first again.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune