Newcastle Utd vs Leeds Utd – Match Preview – Friday 14th April 2017
SkyBet Championship, St James’s Park, Newcastle
The Championship season is nearing to a close and it’s all still to play for. Promotion is not yet decided and 2nd plays 5th as two sides chasing just that in Newcastle United and Leeds United do battle at St James’ Park on Good Friday.
Rafa Benitez’s men have been leading the pack (along with Brighton) all campaign and are nearing the finishing line for automatic promotion back to the Premier League immediately after their relegation last year.
Leeds are aiming for the play-offs and their fantastic season sees them 5 points ahead of 7th placed Fulham with 5 games to go and the best goal difference in the play-off positions. They should see the job through but The Championship’s unpredictably means nothing is ever guaranteed. A win at St James’ would almost solidify Leeds’ lay-off spot.
Team News –
Dwight Gayle’s omission is the biggest talking point – the Championship’s second highest scorer this season with 22 goals is set to miss out after sustaining a hamstring injury in the 2-1 loss to Sheffield Wednesday last weekend.
Jack Colback (virus) and Isaac Hayden (ankle) are both also doubts.
Goalkeeper Marco Silvestri’s knee surgery could potentially see him out for the rest of the season, seeing young Peacock-Farrell take his place on the bench. Tyler Denton (knee) is still ruled out and Liam Cooper will be serving the third of his 6-game ban.
The better news for Leeds fans is that they could see Liam Bridcutt and Hadi Sacko returning back to the side.
Players to Watch –
Jonjo Shelvey has been key to most of Newcastle’s success this campaign, orchestrating moves and running the centre of midfield in most games. He has chipped in with 5 goals and 8 assists and is unquestionably capable of moments of pure magic; as shown by his wonderful free-kick against Brighton and his 25-yard strike against QPR both curled into the top corner, to name a couple.
There is no doubting who Leeds’ dangerman is. Chris Wood has been in stunning form this season for The Whites – no Championship player has scored more than the New Zealand vice-captain with a wonderful 24 goals so far. Alongside his 3 assists the 25-year old has directly contributed to a massive 49% of Leeds’ goals in the league this year. Wood was recently named in the Football League Team of the Season – highlighting his importance and value.
Both teams have identical form over the last 5 (2W, 1D, 2L) and 10 matches (5W, 3D, 2L).
Leeds have only won once in their last 9 league meetings with Newcastle, losing 7 and drawing the other so will be fiercely looking to improve that statistic.
Two of England’s sleeping giants, a win for either could be a catalyst for promotion back to the Premier League in what both clubs hope will be the beginning of a much desired resurrection back to former glories.
- Skybet Price boost – Match Ritchie to score and Newcastle win in 90 mins – 10/3
- Skybet Price boost – Kemar Roofe to score and Leeds to win in 90 mins – 16/1
- Skybet Price boost – Chris Wood to score first – 7/1
- Skybet Featured Request-A-Bet – Leeds to score 1+ Goals and 4+ Leeds Corners – 2/1
- Skybet Featured Request-A-Bet – Ritchie to score, Newcastle to Win, over 2.5 goals and Shelvey to be carded – 16/1
- Skybet Scorecast boost – Ayoze to score first and Newcastle to win – 40/1
- Skybet Scorecast boost – Alfonso Pedraza to score first and either Leeds to win 2-1 or Leeds to win 3-1 – 150/1
- Skybet @FootyAccums Specials – BTTS in 2nd half, 4+ Corners each team and 20+ booking points each team – 20/1
- Skybet @FootyAccums Specials – Ritchie and Wood to score and Shelvey, Jansson & Phillips to be carded – 200/1
- Skybet RequestABet Specials – Newcastle 2-0 and Jansson, Lascelles & Berardi to be carded – 200/1