Newcastle could make hay against a limited Cardiff at St James's Park on Saturday.
Newcastle v Cardiff - Saturday 15:00
Newcastle are developing a state of no fear and that can only be bad news for the rest of the Championship. The Magpies opened up a six-point gap on third-placed Huddersfield with victory at Preston last weekend, making it 14 wins from the last 16 matches in all competitions and the fifth straight match in which they’ve established a 2-0 lead.
With that in mind, take the 7/2 about the Geordies to clear the -2 handicap here. In their last three matches on Tyneside, they’ve bagged a dozen goals and conceded just one consolation when already 3-0 up against Brentford. Based on the overall shot data generated over the first 15 matches, my ratings make the bet no bigger than 11/4.
Cardiff have been beaten 3-0 and 5-1 on their last two league visits to St James’s Park and could be vulnerable if the initial feel-good factor surrounding Neil Warnock’s arrival begins to wear off. The Bluebirds were turned over at home by managerless Wigan last time out and with set-piece opportunities likely to be scarce, their goal threat here could be severely limited.
On that basis, it’s worth splitting a point on a couple of big-priced correct scores that reflect a gulf that already stands at 30 goals in the goal difference column. If the home side maintain the level of ruthlessness they’ve shown in recent weeks, then bets on Newcastle 4-0 at 19/1 and Newcastle 5-0 at 45/1 are far from fanciful.