Football tips: Tackle our 3 best bets for Newcastle v West Ham on Saturday

Our football tipster Andrew Cunneen looks ahead to a game with huge implications at the top and bottom of the table.

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There are a few things in life I really don’t trust: those beyond meat burgers, customer service bots and even money shots away from home in the Premier League.

However. Very rarely are you landed with a proposition about a side who are now undeniably in the top four mix, coming off the back of their biggest win of the season, up against a side whose only ambition is to survive.

Newcastle’s urgency is measured and Steve Bruce knows that if he goes full throttle against a side who could beat his charges even if they’re at the peak of their powers would be unwise. But, their next four fixtures after West Ham are against Liverpool, Arsenal, Leicester and Man City. They genuinely might have to try and get something against the Hammers.

That makes them dangerous. However, that’s as big a danger to themselves as West Ham. Weirdly enough, this game could define The Hammers ambitions as much as the win over Leicester did. These two need a result in a bad way, and while West Ham might be better, it’s their approach that will tell you where they’re at mentally as the run-in hits its boiling point.

Here’s your three bets for a potential season-definer.

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The Shorty: Half Time – The Draw

West Ham are going to tiptoe their way into this game because they know if they don’t rush it and commit stupid mistakes, they’ll land the spoils. So, you can effectively discount the entire first half as an event because Newcastle understand, that nil-all at the whistle is worth half a point in essence.

Saturday 12:30 – Newcastle v West Ham
Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Premier League

That’s not actually how football works, but it is how the minds of desperately-nervous footballers do. Basically, what I’m saying is you can switch this on an hour after kick-off if it’s entertainment you’re after.

Steve Bruce Newcastle Brentford December 22, 2020

Value Punt: Under 1.5 Goals

If there’s ever a game to be decided by a single goal, this is it. And that’s if either side manage to find the breakthrough to begin with.

Yes of course West Ham will need to win this given the perceived difficulty of the other fixtures they’ll face in the run-in, but as they probe later on, Newcastle will get deeper and rely on that ball of energy Allan Saint-Maximin on the wing to catch them on the break.

Oh I do enjoy the absolute desperation teams play with five minutes from time when they know they’ve not been good enough.

Long Shot: Mark Noble to Score First

You know the feeling. You’re on your way to a well-earned point. West Ham struggled to do anything all game. They keep crossing the ball to absolutely no avail. You win first header after first header. They keep clearing the box.

On one occasion, you misjudge your leap and stick out a leg. Mark Noble scoring a late penalty would really make the West Ham dream come full circle, and it would be a fitting end to a game that could go a long way to landing them their best Premier League finish.

Newcastle v West Ham tips summary:

Half Time – The Draw
Under 1.5 Goals
Mark Noble to Score First

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