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North-East weekend football betting
5:45pm Friday 14th March 2014 in Sport
The 3-0 FA Cup defeat to Hull means Sunderland can now focus attention on survival and encouragingly, despite sitting in 19th place, the Black Cats' games in hand mean they are just 4/9 with Stan James to stay up.
Nevertheless, they only have a dozen games left to cement their top-flight status and the first of those, at home to fellow strugglers Crystal Palace is a big one.
Poyet's troops are William Hill's 23/20 favourites to win and leapfrog the Eagles, BetVictor's 3/1 underdogs while Skybet post 9/4 against it finishing all square, a wager that might prove popular in light of Palace's improvement under Tony Pulis.
Bet365 chalk the pivotal contest up at 6/1 to be 1-1, but the Eagles possess one of the division's worst away records having lost ten of 13 on the road, scoring just six times in the process, so the statistics point to a home win.
A case can be made for Sunderland, at 11/5 with Stan James, to defeat their goal-shy opponents to nil, they're 11/2 via bet365 to prevail 1-0 and Steven Fletcher and Fabio Borini are 11/2 (BetVictor) and 8/1 (Paddy Power) respectively to net first.
Despite back-to-back victories, Newcastle are still five points adrift of the top six and bet365 make the Magpies a whopping 66/1 to overhaul the likes of Everton and Manchester United to secure sixth spot.
Alan Pardew's men, under the guidance of John Carver in light of their manager's stadium ban, head to rock-bottom Fulham, where they are Skybet's slender 6/4 favourites. The Cottagers, meanwhile, are 2/1 (Stan James) to boost their survival hopes and it's 5/2 via William Hill to end in stalemate.
It's almost 20 years to the day since United last shared the spoils at Craven Cottage and BetVictor mark 14/1 against a repeat of the 2-2 scoreline from that one.
Bet365 price a score draw of any kind at 10/3 but the hosts are without a league win since New Year's Day, form that suggests Newcastle should have the upper hand and BetVictor chalk the Magpies up at 17/2 to grab the only goal, as they did in August's reverse fixture at St James's Park.
Alternatively, both an away victory 'to nil' at 10/3 via Stan James and a United success by one goal (31/10, BetVictor) appeal, alongside Paddy Power's 9/2 about a Loic Remy opener.
Middlesbrough ended their barren spell in front of goal over the last week, netting against both Ipswich and Nottingham Forest and Aitor Karanka's side are just 2/5 (Winner.com) to again find the net as they visit Bournemouth.
Boro, however, make the long journey as bet365's outsiders, BetVictor rating the hosts at 13/10 and it's 23/10 courtesy of Skybet for the spoils to be shared.
Ladbrokes make Boro 6/1 to play out a second 1-1 stalemate in a row, the teams are 4/1 (BetVictor) to be inseparable at the end of each half and it's 4/6 (bet365) for Karanka's troops to avoid defeat.
Paddy Power's 4/1 about an away win by one goal is worth thinking about, Stan James chalk 11/1 against a 2-1 Boro triumph and Danny Graham is 8/1 via bet365 to strike first.
Odds supplied by www.betrescue.com
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