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BOOKIES' VIEW.

WITH both Swansea and Bournemouth picking up points, it's looking like a relegation scrap between Norwich, Newcastle, Sunderland and Aston Villa.

However, even with Villa seemingly doomed we still face losing at least one of our big two teams to the championship - or worse still, both of them.

Sunderland and Newcastle are both facing difficult games today.

The Black Cats head south to face Southampton while United take on Eddie Howe's AFC Bournemouth at St James Park.

Despite United having home advantage the bookies are finding it difficult to separate the sides.

William Hill have Newcastle priced up as narrow favourites at odds of 13/8 with Bournemouth on offer at 7/4 -the draw completes the market also at odds of 13/8. A home defeat for the Magpies is unthinkable and would be unacceptable to the home fans.

Worryingly for them, Bournemouth won't sit back for a draw; if they play the way they did at the Stadium of Light a few short weeks ago, Newcastle will have a game on their hands.

If you fancy United to record a 1-0 victory Hills are offering odds of 13/2, if you dare to bet on Steve McClaren's men going on to win 2-0, then you will be rewarded with odds of 10/1. A final score of 0-0 or 1-1 are on offer at odds of 9/2. United will be looking for a goalscoring hero this afternoon, but who will step up to the plate? Ayoze Perez is on offer at odds of 5/1 to score the first of the match with strike partner Aleksandar Mitrovic available at odds of 11/2 to find the net first today.

New boys Andros Townsend and Jonjo Shelvey can be backed at 7/1 and 9/1 respectively to score the first goal of the match today.

As expected the Black Cats are rank outsiders to win today at odds of 5/1, the Saints are 1/2 odds on favourites for the win while the draw is available at 12/5. A 1-0 scoreline in favour of the Black Cats would earn you odds of 11/1, a 2-0 victory in favour of the visitors would net you odds of 33/1. Fabio Borini must be considered to start today, when he did eventually join the fray on Tuesday night he made the difference and scored a great equaliser.

Borini is on offer at 12/1 to score the first goal today with Jermain Defoe and Dame N'Doye on offer at odds of 9/1 and 10/1 respectively.

STEPHEN RAMSEY

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 5, 2016
Words:433
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