Wednesday 3 October 2012

6 Week Team Analysis - Newcastle

My comparative analysis of team's form in 2012/13's six fixtures so far against the corresponding fixtures last year turns it's attention to Newcastle.  Last season they excelled as a surprise fantasy package in defence and attack - how do they look this time out?

The team form will now include 'Form Indicator' and Grades A to D, A being the best.  Read about these in my previous post.. I do apologise if this is becoming a little TMI but, you know, knowledge is power, and all that.


Looking straight to the Attacking Form indicators we can see that the Magpies created a similar no. of chances this season as in the same 5 fixtures last year (Reading excluded) and have maintained the same shot accuracy,  They have improved greatly the number of shots in the box but have been nowhere near as efficient in converting these opportunities into goals, which is something they did extremely well last season, down in large part to Cisse you'd imagine.  He couldn't sustain that form forever though, and neither could Newcastle.  They are probably performing at their natural level again.  All in all I'd say they are about even this season as last, just without Cisse's superhuman finishing.  They are getting a good number of chances in the box though, which does bode well.

In defence, they aren't doing so as well as last year when they proved to be a great source of cheap clean sheets for fantasy managers, their main strength being keeping opposing teams out of their penalty box.  This year they have not managed to do this, perhaps due to injuries, or perhaps as a result of change in play style.  If they are getting more players forward and more shots themselves in their opponent's box (Penetration) that could leave them more exposed than they were prone to last season (Solidity).


Demba Ba is the standout player in the black and white of Newcastle, and this is news to no one paying at least some attention to their FPL team this season.  Cisse's shooting accuracy is way down, despite a not too dissimilar number of opportunities in th box that Ba has had (12 compared to 15). Ba is projected to continue to do well over the forthcoming fixtures, as is Hatem Ben Arfa, the only other Newcastle attacking option who might be worth  his price tag.  He's probably overvalued though to be honest.  He is yet to have  a stand-out game and has only manged 4 SoT in 6 fairly favourable fixtures, with lots of his trademark long range shooting evident in the stats.  Sometimes he'll scream one of these in to the top corner, more often than not though, he won't.

In defence Newcastle are not the team of last season and we'll have to see how much they improve with Simpson and Collocini back in the team.  Saying that though their key men at the back did not receive a price rise and are decent options in their value bracket, although the upcoming fixtures are not so sweet.

Newcastle are a Top 10 Premiership team but nothing more in my opinion.  Demba Ba is definitely worth his price tag  but their other options up front in HBA and Cisse are not, especially when contrasted against other FPL options.  In defence you'd back them to improve on where they are right now with the return of key players from injury but don't expect too many clean sheets in the near future.

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