Weblog: The football punter
Magpies could be set for more Monday misery
Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event, 8pm Monday
Newcastle have lost 11 of their last 12 Premier League Monday night matches and are set to start this week on the wrong foot when they take on fellow strugglers Burnley at Turf Moor.
Successive wins have lifted Rafa Benitez's side from 19th to 14th and raised the flagging spirits of the Newcastle supporters, who were becoming disillusioned by their poor start to the season.
However, the threat of relegation remains obvious with one point separating the Magpies and 16th-placed Burnley from the drop zone.
The next challenge is for Newcastle to halt a poor sequence of away results.
They haven't won on their travels in nine attempts although their only two away league defeats this season have come in Manchester (a 2-1 loss to City and 3-2 defeat to United) and both were decent performances.
Newcastle's other three away league games have produced 0-0 draws (at Cardiff, Crystal Palace and Southampton) and there are expectations of another low-scoring outcome with under 2.5 goals priced at 8-13.
Benitez is seeking another away clean sheet but must make a change to his back four as left-back Paul Dummett misses out with a calf injury.
There may also be a few positives on the injury front with centre-back Jamaal Lascelles, midfielder Jonjo Shelvey and striker Yoshinori Muto hoping to return, although Benitez will probably be reluctant to make many changes to a winning side.
Burnley boss Sean Dyche is also likely to keep things simple and reward the majority of the players who dug out a 0-0 draw at Leicester 15 days ago.
The Clarets lost the shot count 22 to six at the King Power Stadium and their backs-to-the-wall performance was consistent with the way they have approached many games this season.
After the first 12 games Burnley had faced the most shots on target (82) and produced the fewest (30).
However, Dyche recognises the need to do things slightly differently and wants his team on the front foot against Newcastle.
He said: "Now it's about taking it on, about being at home, getting the fans behind you and taking on a performance. Not waiting for it, actually being pro-active and making things happen.”
Those are the words of a manager craving three points and his team have a good chance of delivering.
Burnley have won just once in five home games this season but two of their three home defeats were against big-six opponents as they went down 2-0 to Manchester United and 4-0 to Chelsea.
At home to sides outside that elite they have a decent record, dating back to the start of last season – winning eight, drawing five and losing three.
Doing well in those fixtures will be key to staying up and a big step forward can be taken against Newcastle, who have probably forgotten what it feels like to win away from home.
Burnley draw no bet