If, at the start of this year’s English Premier League, you told me Newcastle would take on Bolton in a “six-pointer” I would have assumed both teams were treading water just above the relegation zone. 

But on Saturday the 20th November 2010 Newcastle go to the Reebok Stadium in a 3pm KO on a tense “six pointer” to try and prise 5th place from the Lancashire team’s fingertips. Both the Geordies and the Trotters are competing (for now at least) for the European football that 5th place in the league promises.

The straight head ups football betting odds are - Bolton to win is 11/10, while Newcastle are at 13/5 both with Bet365.

It’s been a topsy-turvy season for the newly promoted Geordies as the fortress that was St. James Park has become a veritable tombola of possibilities, the amazing dissection and domination of Aston Villa (six goals for the Geordies with a side of a clean sheet) was followed by home losses to Blackpool (2-0) and Stoke (2-1) more recently and (as predicted here) the Magpies  put on a similar display in the local derby against  Sunderland (a historic 5-1 victory) was followed by and worrying draws with Wigan (2-2) and, most recently  Fulham (0-0)

Bolton meanwhile looks to have finally broken out of their mid-table mediocrity after bobbing around the centre spot in the league for years

All credit for each teams’ performance must go to each manager, and despite what some chattering classes might say The Newcastle’s Boss’s job should the safest in the North (in this time or recession) after the thumping he orchestrated against Sunderland.

Owen Coyle may forever be known as Judas (somewhat harshly) after he deserted Burnley for Bolton, and Burnley (who beat Manchester United under his leadership) slipped out of the Premiership that same season.

Coyle has gone from strength to strength with Bolton who now sits 5th n the table.

Newcastle are one point behind them (with a superior goal difference) but are three positions lower, in 8th.

However it’s a revealing stat to the season that between Bolton in 5th are (somehow) just six points away from 18th place Birmingham, and the relegation zone!

Newcastle go looking for a fourth away victory of the season on Saturday when they face Owen Coyle's Bolton who have only been beaten once in the last six (but that was at home).

Expect plenty of comment on Newcastle Striker Andy “Tabloid Favorite” Carroll who failed to find the net in his first (much debated) international call up for England on Wednesday against the French. And while England lost (deservedly) 2-1 Carroll made a decent start to his international tenure despite being starved of meaningful service by a below par England. Carroll is 6/4 to score anytime.

Newcastle are enjoying life back in the PremiershipCarroll is 5/1 to open the scoring, the same as Bolton’s Kevin Davies with Ladbrokes.

Selected Paddy Power odds: 

Kevin Nolan to score in a 1-0 win at 45/1 Newcastle to keep a clean sheet at 16/5

Bolton have won six of the last seven Premier League matches at home to Newcastle United and have only lost one of their last eight Premier League home matches.

The Magpies have won three of their last four Premier League matches after winning only three of the previous 32 on the road at this level.

Newcastle have scored more headed goals (eight) than any other team in the division and Bolton have gone 12 games without a clean sheet in the Premier League.

Stick these two facts together and see if you can find a sportsbook willing to allow you to bet on Carroll heading the Magpies to victory.

Newcastle will still be missing Joey “Bad Boy” Barton after he lost a great of good faith he was building up by punching Morgan Pedersen in Newcastle’s 2-1 loss to Blackburn last weekend.

All in all it will be a very tight game, but hopefully these teams won’t even each other out

And just because of Newcastle’s away form I’m backing an away win, inspired by the head of Andy Carroll.

Prediction: 3-2 to Newcastle.