Newcastle United 2-1 Bournemouth
Goals: DeAndre Yedlin (£4.4m), Ciaran Clark (£4.3m) | Harry Wilson (£6.0m)
Assists: Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.4m), Federico Fernández (£4.4m) | Ryan Fraser (£7.0m)
Bonus Points: H Wilson x3, Clark x2, Aaron Ramsdale x1 (£4.6m)
Newcastle United’s latest win highlighted their drastic improvements going forward in recent weeks.
In the first 10 Gameweeks of 2019/20, not once did Steve Bruce’s side score more than one goal in a match, also blanking on four occasions.
However, in the last two matches, the Magpies have found the net a total of five times, scoring three timers at West Ham and twice against Bournemouth.
Not only was the win in London the first time Newcastle had scored more than once in a league match this season, but Gameweek 12 also represented the first time they had done so in back-to-back outings.
The last few weeks have yielded plenty of progress for the Magpies, perhaps spurred on by their 5-0 defeat to Leicester in Gameweek 7.
Since their visit to the King Power Stadium, Newcastle have chalked up 10 points, beating Manchester United, West Ham and now Bournemouth, surging seven points clear of the relegation zone in that time.
However, Fantasy managers might be hard-pressed to find too many attacking assets worthy of inclusion in their squads just yet.
None of Newcastle’s players has netted more than two twice this season while Ciaran Clark (£4.5m) leapt from goalless to joint top-goalscorer in just two matches. The centre-back has also only recently come into the team, making his first start in Gameweek 8.
“The one thing you want is competition and Ciaran was probably questioning why there were times when I didn’t pick him in the squad. I’m leaving out people like Javier Manquillo, who’s done nothing wrong, Yoshinori Muto, who’s done nothing wrong. It’s the difficult part of it. All you can say to them is, ‘Take your chance’, and Ciaran is the prime example of it. He’s done remarkably well coming from nowhere. I’m delighted for him.” – Steve Bruce
Clark is level with Jonjo Shelvey (£5.0m) who scored in Gameweek 2 at Norwich as well as from a free-kick against West Ham last time out.
The former Swansea City man has now started two matches in a row alongside Isaac Hayden (£4.4m) in central midfield and appears to be very much back in the first-team plans.
When Jamaal Lascelles (£4.4m) was substituted in the 20th minute of the match, it was Shelvey who took on the captain’s armband. He may even hold onto it for Gameweek 13 if the centre-back is not back in time – he left the ground on crutches with his knee in support.
With Hayden also putting in another decent shift, it seems that Matthew Longstaff (£4.5m) and Sean Longstaff (£5.0m) may find it hard to get back in the team.
One of the most important contributing factors to Newcastle’s recent offensive improvements has been the pace of Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.4m), although again, he does not look like a player who will be rewarded by the Fantasy system.
In the first half at St James’ Park, Bournemouth were proving difficult to break down as they were doing a fine job of reorganising their defensive shape when countered upon.
That changed towards the end of the opening period when Saint-Maximin found himself in space after a trademark sprint.
However, just as he did twice in such circumstances against West Ham, the rapid winger spurned a golden opportunity. No more than seven yards out of a sparsely defended goal, he opted to blast his shot, rattling the crossbar rather than rippling the net – another shocking miss from Saint-Maximin.
That move did open Bournemouth up a bit more and helped get Newcastle back into the game but it is very clear that Saint-Maximin is not a player to be trusted to put chances away.
That said, he may still offer some assist potential this season, setting up DeAndre Yedlin‘s (£4.4m) equaliser with a cross in the first half. Furthermore, his wayward efforts on goal could potentially lead to assists from rebounded efforts too.
Meanwhile, Miguel Almirón’s (£5.8m) wait for a first league goal of the campaign goes on although he can consider himself exceptionally unfortunate on this occasion.
On another of Saint-Maximin’s rapid forays into Bournemouth’s box, he fell to the ground as Aaron Ramsdale (£4.6m) sallied forth to parry the ball. Almirón’s subsequent effort was fired straight into Saint-Maximin on the ground, in what turned out to be a fantastic save by his own player.
Either way, such was Newcastle’s desire to win this game, Bournemouth’s run of three consecutive clean sheets was brought to an end. It is worth perhaps considering that the Magpies are no longer the clean sheet fodder we once thought they were, potentially ominous for anyone holding defensive options from Aston Villa, Manchester City, Sheffield United and Southampton, their next four opponents.
Owners of Cherries defensive assets probably should not regret the decision to start them in Gameweek 12.
Some Diego Rico (£4.3m) owners started him hoping for returns at either end of the pitch. The expectation of a clean sheet was understandable given Newcastle’s scoring record up until this point, but there was also hope that the left-back, involved in set pieces, would benefit from their vulnerability to dead-ball situations.
After letting a West Ham goal in by that route last time out, Newcastle did indeed concede from a corner once again, Rico owners were perhaps unfortunate enough for it to be from one taken by Ryan Fraser (£7.0m) instead.
Rico still got into some great attacking positions in the North East, overlapping well with Fraser. He had a fierce shot in the first-half well-saved by Martin Dúbravka (£5.0m), which could have easily ended up in the back of the net.
Ramsdale also continues to offer decent value, registering a four-point haul despite conceding twice. He made seven saves and claimed one bonus point to secure second place in the scoring charts for goalkeepers so far.
After 12 Gameweeks, the Bournemouth shot-stopper has 52 points, the same as Kasper Schmeichel (£5.2m) and just three short of current leader Mat Ryan (£4.7m) on 55.
That said, the usefulness of defensive assets on the south coast could be coming to an end soon with Wolves (home), Spurs (away), Liverpool (home) and Chelsea (away) four of Bournemouth’s next five opponents.
Meanwhile, Callum Wilson‘s (£7.8m) slide continued as he went a fifth consecutive match without an attacking return.
Newcastle United XI (5-4-1): Dúbravka; Willems, Clark, Lascelles (Dummett 20′), Fernández, Yedlin; Saint-Maximin (Atsu 90′), Shelvey, Hayden, Almirón; Joelinton (Carroll 83′).
Bournemouth XI (4-4-2): Ramsdale; Rico (Solanke 66′), Aké, S Cook, A Smith (Danjuma 78′); Fraser, Billing, L Cook, H Wilson (Francis 66′); J King, C Wilson.
GAMEWEEK 12 – FPL MATCH REPORTS
- Norwich City 0-2 Watford
- Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace
- Burnley 3-0 West Ham United
- Newcastle United 2-1 Bournemouth
- Southampton 1-2 Everton
- Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Everton
- Leicester City 2-0 Arsenal
- Manchester United 3-1 Brighton and Hove Albion
- Wolves 2-1 Aston Villa
- Liverpool 3-1 Manchester City
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