Newcastle line up tonight against Preston North End, hoping for a promotion party at St. James’ Park.
Victory would ensure the Magpies return to the top flight at the first time of asking, and guarantee frenzied celebrations in the Bigg Market.
The home team have started to struggle to get over the line, and are without a win in three matches, including defeats at Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich.
However, they will welcome the visit of Preston, a team they have beaten on their last five trips to the North East.
The home side are likely to miss top scorer Dwight Gayle through injury, but Preston are also missing key defenders and have conceded three goals in their last three league games, losing the lot.
Preston have little to play for – they are safely positioned in mid table, but are too far back to challenge for the playoffs.
So, with a celebratory tone likely for the home team and Preston’s players dreaming of somewhere sunny, we’re going to take a punt on the referee leaving his cards in his pocket.
The man in charge tonight is Andrew Madley, and he has refereed 41 games this season, handing out no cards on three occasions, including last time out. That suggests odds of around 13/1, but Paddy Power offers 16/1.
Given the circumstances surrounding the game, this looks like value.
Recommendation: No bookings in Newcastle match at 16/1, Paddy Power
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