Scout Notes

Why Lundstram and Sheffield United struggled against Newcastle

Sheffield United 0-2 Newcastle United

  • Goals: Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.4m), Jonjo Shelvey (£5.0m)
  • Assists: Javier Manquillo (£4.3m), Andy Carroll (£5.4m)
  • Bonus: Manquillo x3, Martin Dubrakva (£5.0m) x2, Shelvey x1

Newcastle United didn’t read the script on Thursday evening as they ended Sheffield United’s seven-match unbeaten league run and inflicted the heaviest home defeat on Chris Wilder’s side since January 2017.

The Blades’ fixture against Steve Bruce’s team was one of the more attractive-looking matches of Gameweek 15, particularly from a defensive perspective.

Newcastle are bottom or second-bottom for shots in the box, big chances and overall efforts on goal this season, while only Leicester City have kept more clean sheets than Wilder’s troops in 2019/20.

Fantasy managers were certainly keen on the encounter, with Dean Henderson (£4.7m) the most-bought goalkeeper of this Gameweek.

John Lundstram (£5.1m) was already a popular option, of course, but his ownership and price hit a season-high ahead of this fixture, with just under 90,000 more Fantasy Premier League managers transferring him in.

Over 16,000 maverick FPL bosses even handed the armband to Lundstram for this plum home game.

Allan Saint-Maximin‘s (£5.4m) 15th-minute header sent millions of clean sheets up in smoke, however, with Jonjo Shelvey (£5.0m) rubbing salt into the wounds when racing clear to double the lead midway through the second half – more on that controversial goal in a bit.

It wasn’t any better for owners of Lys Mousset (£5.1m), who was the most-bought FPL asset of Gameweek 15.

He and strike partner David McGoldrick (£5.4m) were both rested for this encounter, emerging from the bench late in the game for frustrating one-point cameos.

It’s all too easy to apply retrospective narratives to freak results (if we can call it that) such as these.

Some may argue that Wilder shouldn’t have rested two in-the-groove strikers in one fell swoop, especially as understudy Billy Sharp (£5.6m) hadn’t started a league game all season.

Sharp and Oli McBurnie (£5.7m) were a fairly static strike pairing, with McGoldrick’s link-up play and Mousset’s pace missed.

Others may point to the fact that the Blades boss has barely changed his other nine first-team regulars at all, with fatigue something to watch out for in December as the fixture pile-up catches up with this impressive Sheffield United side.

Perhaps the truth of the matter was that this game was so unlike anything that had gone before this season, with the hosts suddenly finding themselves an early goal down, with the majority of the ball and camped in Newcastle’s half.

Sheffield United averaged 41.1% possession and 137.9 passes in the opposition half per Premier League match before Thursday night.

Against Bruce’s backs-to-the-wall Geordies, those figures shot up to 72.7% and 362 respectively.

All of a sudden the boot was on the other foot and a Blades side so adept at soaking up pressure and hitting teams with dynamic, direct attacks had to find a way of patiently breaking down a five-man defence.

There were chances, it has to be said: Martin Dubravka (£5.0m) was forced into a superb stop to keep out a McBurnie header and made some other camera-friendly saves to repel a deflected Enda Stevens (£5.1m) drive, an Oliver Norwood (£4.9m) free-kick and another McBurnie header after the break.

The sustained possession didn’t really lead to many clear-cut opportunities (the first McBurnie header aside), though, and Shelvey’s goal killed the contest stone-dead with a quarter of the game still to play.

The Newcastle midfielder’s strike was the source of much debate, with an offside flag on Andy Carroll (£5.4m) prompting everyone bar Shelvey and match referee Stuart Attwell to halt proceedings (Henderson doing his best Fabian Barthez impression) and allow the former Swansea man to race clear and finish coolly.

A referral to the VAR saw the offside call overruled, with Wilder furious on the sidelines.

The Sheffield United boss said later:

This game in a heartbeat has changed. This game now is completely different to what I experienced as a 16-year-old lad as an apprentice. I don’t know where it is going and it is sucking the life out of me and the supporters.

I was told at the start of the season that the linesman would not put his flag up and let it go. He put his flag up and the referee was about to blow his whistle. Everyone in the ground stopped. Jonjo Shelvey even nonchalantly went up and took an opportunity. His body language said to me he had seen the linesman had put the flag up and he was going to be offside.

I want to be talking about our first season back in the Premier League. I want to talk about trying to break down a team like Newcastle – to talk about football and not yet again VAR.

Reflecting on the game itself, Wilder said:

I’m okay with the performance. With the ball, I thought we played very well. I should imagine that’s the most we’ve dominated any team in terms of possession this season.

But, as I’ve said all along, possession doesn’t win you games. Goals do. We were desperately disappointed with the goal we conceded and then missed a few chances ourselves.

Newcastle are a curious bunch, boasting one of the least-potent attacks in the division yet sitting comfortably in 11th after impressive wins over the likes of Manchester United, Spurs and Sheffield United, to go with Saturday’s 2-2 draw against the reigning champions.

Earlier this season we wrote that the Magpies look much more comfortable when playing in Rafael Benitez’s 5-4-1, with Steve Bruce’s early-season experiments with a 3-5-2 and 4-4-2 bringing heavy beatings and disjointed displays.

To Bruce’s credit, he has revisited the tactics of his predecessor, which undoubtedly play to Newcastle’s strengths: i.e. their defence.

This was the Magpies’ fourth clean sheet of the season (not an outstanding figure but still more than Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United have managed) and, yet again, there was a defender involved in one of their goals: Javier Manquillo (£4.3m) crossing for Saint-Maximin to break the deadlock.

While Miguel Almiron (£5.8m) continues to beaver away to little avail and Joelinton (£5.7m) awaits his first goal since August (he was benched for Carroll at Bramall Lane), the Magpies do at least have some creative quality in the form of Shelvey and Saint-Maximin.

Neither really nailed down a start until a couple of months ago but the pair do add a dash of flair to an otherwise workmanlike side.

Budget FPL asset Shelvey here scored his third goal in five Gameweeks and continues to impress in a midfield two, something he had struggled with previously under Benitez.

The exciting Saint-Maximin finally added an end product to his hugely watchable trickery, meanwhile, opening his Newcastle account from Manquillo’s cross.

The Frenchman has been playing through the pain barrier of late and was pictured with ice on his ankle after the game, telling reporters:

In England, you have to walk out when you have some pain. It’s what I do. I started thinking I wouldn’t go and then I told the coach I wanted to play. Even if I have pain, I got one goal and we won.

Bruce picked out Carroll and Dubrakva for praise, saying:

Andy Carroll can be crucial for us. It’s pretty evident, and I think everyone can see that he needs games but he’s got through 65 minutes.

Martin has pulled off some great saves and kept us in it at a crucial time. It’s not bad to have a goalkeeper in such a rich vein of form.

Dubravka is now the joint-fourth leading points-scorer among goalkeepers this season.

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Gameweek 15 – FPL Match Reports

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1,052 Comments Post a Comment
  1. mikess
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    5 months, 23 days ago

    Pope, Button
    TAA, VVD, Lundstram, Rico, Lascelles*
    Mane, KDB, Alli, Pulisic, Martial*
    Vardy, Ings, Connolly

    A) Martial > Maddison
    B) VVD & Martial > Kelly and Son-4

    Leaning towards B to as I get to ride Palace's nice fixtures

    What do you think?

    1. MoManeTaa
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 23 days ago

      B

      1. mikess
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        5 months, 23 days ago

        Cheers

    2. Nabs Kebabs
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 23 days ago

      Don't really see why you want to drop VVD. I'd consider Martial to Grealish.

      1. mikess
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        5 months, 23 days ago

        Because he's not keeping clean sheets. His score last week skews his overall

        1. mikess
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          5 months, 23 days ago

          Plus blank in 18

    3. Freddiebell
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 23 days ago

      B all day long

  2. Nabs Kebabs
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    5 months, 23 days ago

    TV = 107.1m 😯

    1. MoManeTaa
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 23 days ago

      Wow

    2. Christina.
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      5 months, 23 days ago

      Still playing for TV I see.
      lol

      1. Nabs Kebabs
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        5 months, 23 days ago

        Outside top 4k again I see.
        lol

        1. Christina.
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          5 months, 23 days ago

          I should have BB in wk 1

    3. In a Rush
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 23 days ago

      Blimey

    4. mikess
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 23 days ago

      Decent

    5. The Man Pastore
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 23 days ago

      Nice but I beat you at OR

    6. Devo-McDuff
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 23 days ago

      Blimey, 106.4 here. Got rid of Tammy daftly the other day so that took it below 107.

      Still hanging in top 1K for now though so can’t complain.

  3. Adamf1980
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 23 days ago

    hold Tielemans and Lacazette for one more week?

    1. Nabs Kebabs
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 23 days ago

      Depends who you have/don't have.

      1. Adamf1980
        • 3 Years
        5 months, 23 days ago

        sorry good point

        Henderson
        TAA, Lund, Soy (Rico) (Lascaelles)
        mane, KDB, Pulisic, Tielemans (Cantwell)
        Jimi, Vardy, Laca

        1. Nabs Kebabs
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          5 months, 23 days ago

          money in the bank?

    2. Royal5
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 23 days ago

      I'm ditching Laccer

    3. Old Man
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 23 days ago

      I'm guessing but wouldn't be surprised to see Tiele rested.

  4. MoManeTaa
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 23 days ago

    Which players are you planning to keep for the season ?

    Mine - KDB, Lund, Soy, Mane, Vardy, Tammy, Kelly, Button

    Depending on the form - Jimenez, Alli

    1. Royal5
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 23 days ago

      None

    2. mikess
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 23 days ago

      Looks fair enough

    3. fr3d
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 23 days ago

      I don’t believe in season keepers. Maybe Vardy if he stays fit

    4. Twitter: @Ze_Austin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 23 days ago

      None

  5. In a Rush
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 23 days ago

    Am I good to go, all in order here?

    Pope
    Taa lundstram willems
    Alli (C) Pulisic Maddison mane
    Rashford Vardy(v) Jimenez

    McGovern soyuncu Guendouzi Reid
    I’m still debating captaincy
    Cheers

    1. mikess
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 23 days ago

      Solid

      1. In a Rush
        • 3 Years
        5 months, 23 days ago

        Cheers any thoughts on the captaincy?

        1. Soto Ayam
          5 months, 23 days ago

          I'm thinking the same.

  6. FPLGraham
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 23 days ago

    Am I the only freak trying to already plan for when Lundstram inevitably gets banned for GW18?

    1. FPLGraham
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 23 days ago

      Yes.

    2. Twitter: @Ze_Austin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 23 days ago

      Nope

  7. KaBoZ: Kids,don't Drin…
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 23 days ago

    Pope, Button
    Soy, (Robbo), lund, tomoroi, rico
    Salah, kdb, cantwell, (Martial, James)
    Jimenez, Vardy, Abraham

    For 1 Hit:
    Martial ---> Alli
    +
    James ---> Maddison
    +
    Robbo ---> Kelly (CRY) because of the good fixtures he has and freeing cash for future upgrades and avoiding Robbo's blank at gw18

    Do it?

    1. In a Rush
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 23 days ago

      Martial injured James Isn’t so martial out for me

      1. makivelja
        5 months, 23 days ago

        Martial to Ali for sure....

      2. KaBoZ: Kids,don't Drin…
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 23 days ago

        I already have 2 FT's so I'm thinking to make all 3 moves... not sure about the robbo one though

  8. makivelja
    5 months, 23 days ago

    Any thoughts or news on Abraham? is going to be rested this weekend for UCL?

    1. Royal5
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 23 days ago

      He was rested against West Ham

      1. makivelja
        5 months, 23 days ago

        Yea, but to play 3 or 4 games in 7-10days? not sure Lampard wants that for him...

  9. Bavarian
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 23 days ago

    Who to Start? and who first on bench?
    A-Kelly
    B-Lundstram
    C-Mount
    D-Cantwell

  10. FPLGraham
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 23 days ago

    Wow Chelsea transfer ban overturned. Who is this bad news for? Tomori I reckon....

  11. Goonerly
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 23 days ago

    Sterling or KDB OUT for either Son or Alli for this GW?

    ML rival has both KDB and Son, so if I went Sterling & Alli in my team, could be a cheeky differential.
    Any thoughts?

    Rest of team:
    Henderson - Button
    Aurier - Lund - VVD - Soy - Tomori
    Mané - KDB - Mount - Tielemans - Sterling
    Vardy - Jimmy - Greenwood

    1. Bavarian
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 23 days ago

      Sterling OUT
      Alli IN

    2. makivelja
      5 months, 23 days ago

      I would go for Son IN for Sterling...

  12. The Fed
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 23 days ago

    Schmeichel (Button)

    Lord, Kelly, Soy (Tomori, Rico)

    KDB, Sterling, Salah, Mount (Lansbury)

    Ings, Vardy(C), Jimmy

    2.3m ITB. 1 FT.

    A) Mount > Alli

    B) Ings > Abraham

    C) KDB > Son

    D) Save

  13. Royal5
    • 8 Years
    5 months, 23 days ago

    Too much Alli fever on here. I still believe Son is the better pick.

    1. Nabs Kebabs
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 23 days ago

      Alli clearly better value under Mourinho imo. I've had both since last GW though.

      1. Royal5
        • 8 Years
        5 months, 23 days ago

        Not sitting on the underlying stats here, just feel Son create so much more. Got a feeling Alli has overachieved a bit. Could be wrong.

    2. Warby84
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 23 days ago

      Think I will get Alli next week, feels to deja vu with Pogba last season when he kept hauling for about 6 weeks in a row and I refused to get him...

  14. jnglizt
    • 9 Years
    5 months, 23 days ago

    Thoughts on Martin (West Ham GK)? Could he be a playing option at 4.0? Tempted to swap Button out for him as can't really see any other moves to make this week and would rather not burn an FT!

    1. BobbyDoesNotLook
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 23 days ago

      If nothing else, do it.

  15. Boozernator
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 23 days ago

    Hendo (button)
    TAA Robbo Lund Aurier
    Pulisic Mane KDB Tielemans (Saka)
    Rash Vardy (greeno)

    1 FT 0.4 itb
    Please help!!!! wildcard still available. Confused on what to do

    1. Boozernator
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 23 days ago

      (Rico) 5th def

  16. NWA
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 23 days ago

    Hi lads,

    bench 1 out those 3:
    a pulisic
    b abraham
    c zaha

    thx

    1. lindeg
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 23 days ago

      zaha

  17. lindeg
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 23 days ago

    im capping jesus over vardy, god have mercy on my soul

    1. The Man Pastore
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 23 days ago

      I am considering it too tbh

    2. Devo-McDuff
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 23 days ago

      I’m going KDB over him! I’ll be there to cheer him on ‘n all.

  18. rnrd
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 23 days ago

    Play Targett (LEI) or Lundstram (nor) ?

    1. lindeg
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 23 days ago

      lord

  19. The Man Pastore
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 23 days ago

    Any news on Chilwell?

  20. lindeg
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 23 days ago

    Everyone selling kane, while im planning to get him in gw19

    1. El Puqi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      5 months, 23 days ago

      Have you watched Spurs?

      1. lindeg
        • 1 Year
        5 months, 23 days ago

        think kane will be sorted by then

  21. buzzkill
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 23 days ago

    Pope
    TAA - Soy - God
    Mane - Pulisic - De Bruyne - Alli (C)
    Vardy - Jimmy - Rashford

    Bench is pretty bad, Douglas Luiz, Rico, Williams.
    Planning on getting Cantwell next week for christmas fixtures.

    Alli locked in. GTG chaps?

    1. El Puqi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      5 months, 23 days ago

      Yeahh I guess so... not sure about Godfrey but looks good elsewhere

      1. buzzkill
        • 4 Years
        5 months, 23 days ago

        Sorry - I meant God as in Lundstrum

  22. BobbyDoesNotLook
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 23 days ago

    What do with 1ft (0.9itb)?

    Pope (Button)
    Taa Aurier Lund (Rico, Janmaat*)
    Mane Salah Kdb Puli (Dendo)
    Vardy Ings Mousset

    A) Save ft
    B) Pope > Guaita
    C) Janmaat > Kelly
    D) else?

    1. lindeg
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 23 days ago

      pope to dubravka