Coral previews PL northeast action with a hint of western
Newcastle United v Hull City
Alan Pardew knows that he needs a win over fellow northeast side Hull in order to ease the pressure on himself, amidst talk that he soon faces the sack (1/2 odds-on favourite with Coral to be the next Premier League manager to leave).
He just so happens to face the very man who has been heavily linked with the Magpies position, Steve Bruce. Newcastle are 21/10 favourites to win the match, though.
However, Pardew has played the situation down, and responded to fans’ criticism. “This situation at the moment is almost like mass hysteria,” he said. “I had a long conversation with Mike Ashley.”
“I never asked for reassurance – I signed a long deal for good or bad,” he added. “The one thing that we both agreed on was that we really need to focus on this Saturday and try and get a win for the football club. It’s gone to a level which makes it really difficult for players to perform in.”
Pardew knows, though, that his Magpies face a side who have beaten them in their last three matches in league and cup at St James’ Park. Hull are 11/4 chances to inflict more misery on the Toon, who sit bottom of the table with two points from their first four games.
Newcastle could be in luck, however, with news that Tigers record signing Abel Hernandez, who netted on his debut against West Ham United, could miss out. The Uruguayan may have to settle for a place on the bench, so is a 6/1 chance to score last. Loanee Hatem Ben Arfa is ineligible to face his parent club, but Gaston Ramirez (2/1 to get a goal anytime) will be hoping for his first start.
Burnley v Sunderland
Another link to Hull boss Bruce, as his former side Sunderland (2/1 for victory) go west to newly-promoted Burnley (7/5 favourites) at Turf Moor.
These sides haven’t met in any competition since 2010, but the Black Cats have won five of their last seven against the Clarets. Three of those victories ended 2-1 to the northeast team, and they are 11/1 to repeat that scoreline once more.
Burnley have been hit with the news that star frontman Danny Ings is out with a hamstring injury, so he will join his strike partner last season Sam Vokes on the sidelines. That could mean Marvin Sordell and Ashley Barnes (both 11/4 to score anytime) are in contention to start up top, to partner Lukas Jutkiewicz (7/4).
Loanees from Chelsea and Manchester United respectively Nathaniel Chalobah and Michael Keane are eyeing debuts.
Both clubs are desperate to record their first win of the season, with Burnley on two points and Sunderland with three, so a draw at 9/4 could be a good shout. They are 1/2 and 9/2 respectively, meanwhile, to suffer relegation this term.