Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Bookies' View

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Bookies' View

Article excerpt

A NEW era dawns at Sunderland with the introduction of Big Sam Allardyce - the man with the plan to save the Black Cats from the dreaded drop.

Sam will have an immediate two-match game plan - avoid defeat at the Hawthorns and win his first home match against none other than local rivals Newcastle United, a club he once managed of course.

However, the bookies don't share the optimism of the Sunderland faithful. William Hill have the Black Cats priced up at 12/5 to beat West Brom, who are on offer at evens, with the draw completing the market at 2/1. Sunderland to win 1-0 pays odds of 15/2, while a 2-0 victory in favour of the Black Cats can be backed at decent odds of 16/1. With Steven Fletcher finding his form for his country I would expect Big Sam to start with him up top, being supported by the lively Fabio Borini. They are on offer with William Hill at 7/1 and 8/1 respectively to score the first goal of the match.

Jermain Defoe is also priced up at 7/1 to score first, with Ola Toivonen at 11/1 - and ex-Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner on offer at 10/1 to score the first of the match. …

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