Michael Owen has predicted in his Betvictor.com column that there will be no goals in today's Premier League clash between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St. James’ Park.
The former Manchester United and Liverpool striker believes that the encounter will be closely fought with few chances for either side.
“Villa face a real struggle for PL survival and Tim Sherwood will have had a long hard week since Victor Moses’ last minute penalty gave Stoke all three points last weekend,” the 35-year-old ex-Newcastle man wrote on Betvictor.com.
“I can’t see this being anything other than a tight, tense affair with chances and goals at a premium.”
A footnote added: “Michael’s recommendation: Both teams NOT to score at 31/40."
It is quite bold of Owen to predict that today's game at St. James’ Park will end in a goalless draw.
While Villa have struggled for goals throughout the season, Newcastle have found the target 31 times in the league - more than Swansea City and Stoke City.
The Magpies will be determined to give a good performance today, as they were hammered 5-0 by defending Premier League champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium last weekend.
It was one of Newcastle’s worst performances of the season, and manager John Carver will be pumping up his players to give their all against Villa.
Villa, too, will be looking to pick up at least a point and will have to attack in order to do so - sitting back and defending deep will be counter-productive.
Given the Villans’ problems in attack, one should not be surprised if they fail to score. But it will be a surprise if Newcastle do not find the target at least once today.