King Kevin of Keegan (Preview)
Now I always thought Alan Shearer was King Of The Geordies but it seems he is no longer. The King is dead, long live the King. Would King Kevin of Keegan please report for duty?
No-one could have expected that - not in a million years would Keegan go to Newcastle...again. Turns out a lot of people did expect it and his appointment cost the bookies dearly. Whether it was the right thing for Kevin or for the club, who knows? The important thing is that the fans are happy, judging by the 35,000 who squeezed into St James's on a chilly Wednesday evening to watch them play Stoke in the Cup - and Keegan was one of them.
Despite not even having clocked-in yet and watching from the stands, King Kev's effect was obvious - this couldn't surely have been the same team that contested a dour bore-draw at Stoke 10 days earlier. It wasn't - a four goal romp is what it was. 'Kevin Keegan' I believe is the Geordie word for 'throw everything at them and if they score one in our net then get straight back and put one in theirs'.
But that was Stoke and the FA Cup. His first official game in charge is the Saturday Premier League tea-time live game against a Bolton side who are enduring a slightly different 'Life After Big Sam' experience and he's not the only one that's missing. It's the middle of January and Santa Claus has been and gone but Bolton fans will not have wanted their own little Saint Nic to have gone too. They are in some serious trouble now without Anelka, the man who has scored the bulk of their goals this season. It's a bad time for them to face a team that this time last week many considered would be contesting relegation with them. Since the arrival of one rather short bloke who once had a dodgy perm in the Eighties (he wasn't alone) the Magpies will surely be up where they belong, challenging with the big boys for the Premier League title come May.
One step at a time though and the first step is a relatively easy one. You can't see Newcastle losing against Bolton - and you can't see them winning by just the one goal either. It's interesting football that they want on Tyneside and Keegan aims to deliver. Hills cut their price on Newcastle to win from 4/5 to 8/11 following their performance against Stoke and the weight of money taken since their new manager was announced - of course, this means that Bolton are a massive 16/5 if you're not a believer of the hype.
I think every England fan likes to see Michael Owen on the score sheet as he was on Wednesday and he shares favouritism at 4/1 with Mark Viduka to score first or 6/4 at anytime. But it's all about goals, remember? They're both priced 33/1 to score a hat-trick. Hills are also offering a special price of 12/1 that Newcastle score four goals or more. Even without Anelka, The Trotters have a chance of scoring against a side as forward thinking as Keegan's and Kevins Davies and Nolan are 3/1 and 5/1 respectively to score at anytime.
If there are five or more goals in the match, as there were on Wednesday, then William Hill will refund every losing Correct Score bet they've laid. Since it's going to be a rout let's start with Newcastle to win 2-0 (13/2), 3-0 (14/1), 3-1 (12/1) or 4-0 (40-1). Then if you're expecting five or more then there's 3-2 (25/1), 4-1 (33/1), 4-2 (50/1). Hills have every score bigger than that at 100/1 and, don't forget, will refund your losing predictions if there are five or more goals.
All hail King Kev - he certainly knows how to make football both beautiful and interesting. More than two goals in Saturday's match? 11/10 is your price.
For all these and more odds go to, www.williamhill.co.uk or click on one of our ads and take up the free bet offer quote the reference given.