Thursday, 2 November 2017

Newcastle are difficult to beat at home

Last summer anyone looking at the disappointment of Raffa Benitez seeing few of his transfer targets come to fruition. But the Geordies have started the season very well and of the newly promoted teams they are the highest placed currently.
Off we go to St James Park.
It may be good for Newcastle that they have collected so many points early on as their points have come against the bottom six sides. They are strong at set-pieces and Lascelles at the back can get on the end of corners and free kicks. Atsu tends to play on the left but can drift into the middle, while Ritchie favours the right side. It's Jonjo Shelvey who likes to get hold of the ball in the middle and dictate the passes from the middle. Mohamed Diame was meanwhile picked up from Hull City in 2016 and adds protective cover in front of the back four, although he can be used in the whole as a number 10.

The defence has been solid with the left side protected by new summer signing Javier Manquillo and Florian Lejeune and Jamaal Lascelles well capable of dealing with the high balls at the back, while DeAndre Yedellin may not get forward much but he is quick to get across on the right when Newcastle are being attacked from the flank.

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Newcastle have bot been scoring a tremendous amount of goals and whether Dwight Gayle will be given more opportunities as the season goes on will be something Benitez will have to wrestle with you'd imagine. At the moment it is Joselu who is getting the nod and who scored recently against Liverpool slightly fortuitously. Perez can also be a good runner up front, while Mikel Merino and Mitrovic have been mainly used as subs.

In all Newcastle are a tidy side. They have scored more than two goals just the once, against West Ham and will endeavour to press high. Make mistakes and Newcastle will usually punish you, and what I like about Raffa is that he tries to keep the same players starting as much as possible - no wonder they have been building their confidence.

Newcastle Utd's Home Form
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AFCB's Away Form
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We have ToonBano on Cherry Chimes' Rival Lines tomorrow to get the inside fan view on Newcastle Utd.

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