Newcastle United’s season has hit something of a bump. They slumped out of the FA Cup on the weekend to cap a disappointing January which has seen Rafael Benitez’s men lose top spot in the Championship to Brighton & Hove Albion. The Magpies are still favourites to top the league and return to the top flight but things won’t be easy.
The EFL Championship is, as Newcastle are discovering, a notoriously difficult league to get out of. 13 wins in 15 league matches must’ve given the Newcastle fans optimism but recent form has indicated that it might be a little too soon to pop the Champagne.
Chris Hughton’s Brighton now sit top of the Championship table, two points clear of the Magpies in second. Both sides play seven league matches in February, culminating in the two teams meeting at The AMEX on the 28th. Depending on how these next few matches go, it could be a potential title decider.
Newcastle’s odds in the title race have lengthened in recent weeks meaning that now could be a good time to back the Magpies. They have the league’s most lethal scorer and some of the best players in the Championship. Rafael Benitez should do it. You’ll get best priced odds of 3/4 for a Magpies title win with Paddy Power and by combining this bet with a horse from the royal ascot odds, you could be on your way to a very nice windfall indeed.
One defeat in 21 matches has catapulted Brighton into the spotlight. An organised defence plays behind a threatening frontline and as long as Glenn Murray and Tomer Hemed are scoring goals, the Seagulls have a chance. Odds on a Brighton title win have significantly shortened in the last month or so, with a best price 11/8 at Bet Victor.
It’s unclear which team will triumph in the title race but as far as the bookmakers are concerned, it will either be Brighton or Newcastle. The two teams are six points clear of third place with a game in hand and this is certainly reflected in the odds. Leeds are the third favourites to lift the title with the shortest price at 35/1.
The bookmakers seem certain of a Brighton/Newcastle top two. Both sides are heavily odds-on favourites to gain promotion to the Premier League, it’s just unclear which order they’ll finish in. February will be a huge month and considering the strength of both teams, the 3/4 for a Newcastle title win is the best bet.