Newcastle FPL Preview – Fantasy Football Tips

Where to start? Newcastle finished another solid season with 2 goalscorers scoring over 10 goals last year, a mean defence, the ability to always be in a game and the possibility of a real push towards the top of mid table with a world class manager in charge.

Fast forward as few week and it was the beginning of a rollercoaster. Rumours of a billion pound takeover from a UAE based Prince started a run on the bookies for us signing Mbappe, Bale and basically whoever we wanted. Mourinho was going to be manager and we would no longer have to deal with Mike Ashley. Then those rumours went quiet, Ayoze Perez moved to Leicester after the activated his release clause, Rafa left at the end of his contract and joined the Chinese football revolution and took our other top scorer Rondon with him.

We were rejected by basically any manager worth his salt, and others that were just downright wrong for the club. And then Steve Bruce accepted the position, even though he was Sheff Wed manager and they wouldn’t release him. He joined anyway. We got hammered in our first preseason game by Wolves and all was downright miserable.

However the signing of a £40 million Brazilian striker, the promise of more signings, and a Mike Ashley interview in which he either filled us full of more lies, or is keeping the club forever has somehow revitalised a fanbase slightly for the start of the season. There are still plans for a boycott of the Arsenal game on the first day, but realistically we’ll still have 45 thousand people there and I expect it to be the same old, same old at Newcastle all year, flirting with relegation and random results littering a poor season.

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Pre season form

There has been much said about our poor pre season planning. I’m unsure if this comes back to the issues Rafa had, but its been hinted that we started too late and we are a bit ‘undercooked’. I am concerned that the first 3 weeks of pre season were handled by a youth and reserve coach that have just really joined the club, and our performance against Wolves when we got beat 4-0 supported that.

However, Bruce’s first game in charge saw a switch for 3-5-2, which I imagine he will stick with, and we won the game against West Ham 1-0 with a goal from Muto. We looked on in this game, more attacking than under Rafa, but it was probably a slight new manager bounce and people playing for a place in the team.

We then lost to Preston, conceding two penalties (without VAR) and missing one of our own. Shelvey scored a freekick that a premier league keeper would save, and Almiron missed the penalty, so be careful when considering people just on the preseason goals!

On Tuesday evening we played Hibernian and won 3-1. The highlight was Joelinton our new £40 million Brazilian striker getting his first goal, nipping in front of the defence to steer in a cross from the right, and in general he looked pretty lively. Sean Longstaff and Lascelles also scored, but there was a potential hamstring injury for Matt Ritchie which could have wide ranging implications to our formation, squad and attacking ability.

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The last pre season game of the season is against St Etienne on Saturday and I think we will get confirmation of if Bruce will stick with 3-5-2 even without a good left wing back, or if he will revert to a more defensive 4-4-2.

Season Prediction

Disclaimer – Last season I at no point had a single Newcastle player in my FPL team, so I may be pessimistic

Overall I think it will be a battle to stay up. I can’t see us being a strong defensively, but I do think we are more likely to win some games 3-1 or 4-1 than we would have under Rafa, which could make our attacking assets more of an option.

I think we will come between 14th-17th

Star Man – Matt Ritchie (£5.5m)

If Ritchie is fit I think he will be our top points scorer. He will attack down the left hand side, he’s a corner taker, potential freekick taker and penalty taker. If our defence can take Rafa’s teachings and continue to be solid at the back then he has good clean sheet potential as well as his attacking output.

Hidden Gem – Issac Hayden (£4.5m)

Hayden played well last season, totalled 69 points in a defensive midfield position and wanted to leave after handing in a transfer request. He’s now withdrawn this and its looking likely he will be the box to box midfielder in a 3 with Shelvey (5m) and Longstaff (5m). Naturally they both sit deeper, so if we are going to get goals and assists from midfield Hayden could be a gem at basement midfielder price.

Gamble Pick – Joelinton (£6.0m)

Our £40 million man could be anything, and I really mean that. He could be the biggest waste of money we’ve ever seen, or he could be twice the player of Rondon. I think of our players he’s the best gamble to go with, already finding the net in preseason something Almiron (£6.0m Mid) still hasn’t managed in the black and white.

Predicted line-up

Schar – Lascelles – Dummett
Yedlin – Hayden – Shelvey – Longstaff – Ritchie
Almiron – Joelinton

Written by @LotmerFPL

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