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What to do with Newcastle FPL assets?

It’s incredible how quickly some great foundations can crumble. All the goodwill built up by Newcastle over the last 18 months is about to disappear, following seven losses from the past eight matches in all competitions. Not only is Eddie Howe suddenly under pressure but FPL managers may be looking to ditch their Newcastle assets.

Quite simply, the club is currently in freefall. It was only a month ago that the Magpies were a Champions League side, looking at UEFA coefficient calculations to see how realistic it’d be to qualify again in fifth. Now, they’re closer in points to 16th-placed Brentford than fourth-placed Arsenal.

FPL Newcastle

Although Howe’s suddenly bizarre tactics and in-game management are exaggerating the slide, a lot of this is the domino effect of their injury crisis. Squad size was barely enlarged in preparation for European football. Once a freakish collection of injuries began to form, the remaining players started being overused, overrun and eventually picked up their own knocks.

And the tired, unrotated XI that reaches each match is too physically and mentally exhausted to apply Howe’s pressing philosophy. It’s the same style that got them to the top table but lacks a ‘Plan B’. Therefore, they’re stuck in a rut, where previously ordinary players are back to being ordinary again.

Another problem is that their lack of an anchor is seeing massive gaps form between the defensive and midfield lines. Nottingham Forest had a field day against it and Liverpool have just racked up the highest Premier League expected goals (xG) tally in a single match (7.27) since records began.


FPL Newcastle

Part of the frustration for fans is the huge difference between home and away form. Newcastle have the third-best record when at their place but second-worst when travelling.

Confidence is extremely low and consecutive meetings with Man City and Aston Villa won’t help. The outcome of Saturday’s much-anticipated FA Cup derby at Sunderland will determine how much hope is left for 2023/24.

Even the nice-looking run versus Luton, Forest and Bournemouth brings a quick reminder that Newcastle lost all three reverse fixtures.


A big factor in last season’s overachievement was their strong defence. It kept 14 clean sheets and ended with the joint-fewest goals conceded (33). Various underlying stats had them only bettered by champions Man City, such as conceding expected goals (xGC, 38.78), shots on target (127) and big chances (51).

In fact, heading into this term’s Gameweek 15 of early December, Newcastle were still the third-best for xGC. Joint-first for clean sheets too. But then it all started to go wrong.

Since Gameweek 15, they have the worst xGC (19.52), with Spurs’ 12.31 far behind. This culminated in the record-breaking pummeling at Anfield, where Martin Dubravka‘s (£4.2m) 10 saves are the most of any goalkeeping performance this season.

Owners may as well keep this cheap stopper, such is the lack of other good ones right now. But those with Kieran Trippier (£6.8m) should sell – six blanks from seven isn’t good for a premium defender. Numerous errors from him have led to goals and the 33-year-old now has a groin issue.

“We’re unsure how serious it is. We hope we can get him back pretty quickly” – Eddie Howe on Kieran Trippier

The gradual reintroduction of Sven Botman (£4.5m) and Dan Burn (£4.4m) jeopardises the starting spots of both Jamaal Lascelles (£4.1m) and Tino Livramento (£4.4m). Clean sheets are in the rearview mirror and they’re not even nailed to start.


Meanwhile, there are a couple of main options further upfield. One of FPL’s most-owned midfielders is Anthony Gordon (£6.1m), who has delivered in all but one home match. His 10 big chances created is joint-fifth overall.

Amongst others in his position, the winger ranks sixth for points (97) and fourth for attacking returns (13) – although only two have arrived over his last six games. That’s largely because he looks unfit while playing, repeatedly forced into action because there’s nobody else.

Once Harvey Barnes (£6.2m) recovers from a toe injury, there could be rotation which – while a relief for both himself and Newcastle fans – isn’t ideal for FPL.

Likewise, the other candidate Alexander Isak (£7.6m) is only secure whilst Callum Wilson (£7.8m) is hurt. Then again, the Swedish international has scored in consecutive matches and adds much more to the Magpies’ attack than his ineffective colleague. Yet potential buyers should be aware that an extra forward is one of several positions hoping to be bought or loaned during January’s transfer window.


Unfortunately for supporters, things may get even worse before they get better. It’s the worst time to face local rivals Sunderland and this draining occasion will be followed by two probable league defeats. Newcastle could easily be in the lower half of the table by the start of February.

However, the hope comes from fixtures that will soon improve, injuries should clear up and the less intense schedule can enable a late push for European spots.

But in the short-term, FPL managers may want to sell Newcastle assets and reassess.

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