Newcastle 2-1 Southampton
Goals: Jonjo Shelvey (£5.0m), Federico Fernández (£4.4m) | Danny Ings (£6.3m)
Assists: Andy Carroll (£5.4m), Sean Longstaff (£5.0m) | Jack Stephens (£4.3m)
Bonus Points: Shelvey x3, Ings x2, Fernández x1
Danny Ings (£6.3m) continued his excellent scoring run even as Southampton lost to Newcastle on Sunday afternoon.
The centre-forward became the first Saints player to score in five consecutive Premier League appearances since James Beattie in 2003.
Such a record should only increase interest in Ings especially as West Ham (home) and Aston Villa (away) are Southampton’s next two opponents.
The former Burnley and Liverpool man has arguably been the second-most reliable Fantasy forward for some time, with only Jamie Vardy (£10.1m) scoring more times (13) than Ings (eight) since Gameweek 7.
Furthermore, Ings is now the best-value among FPL forwards, registering 13.3 points per million spent this season.
His latest strike was a simple route-one goal. Jack Stephens (£4.3m) played a long-ball over the top from his centre-back position, which Ings ran onto after it bypassed Federico Fernández (£4.4m). The former Swansea defender did his best to harry Ings, who shrugged off the pressure and hooked an effort under Martin Dúbravka (£5.0m).
Also adding to Ings’ appeal is his propensity to secure bonus points. The fact that his volume of shots is never normally too high means that very few of his efforts end up off-target.
Therefore, in each of his last five matches, Ings has got bonus in all of them, registering the maximum amount in Gameweeks 14 and 15, while claiming two of them against Newcastle.
Ings remains the most viable option at Southampton, as James Ward-Prowse (£5.9m) blanked at St James’ Park, although it was his first since Gameweek 12.
The midfielder did admittedly come close to some attacking returns as he caused havoc from his set-piece delivery. Shane Long (£4.6m) was close to nodding one of his corners beyond Dúbravka but his effort went just wide.
Meanwhile, Nathan Redmond (£6.2m) remains a Fantasy nearly-man as he twice went close to scoring.
Early-on, he pounced on a poor pass back across the defence from Jetro Willems (£4.7m) and got through on goal. Redmond shot low forcing Dúbravka to produce a decent save with his feet, although he probably should have found the back of the net given the circumstances.
Shortly after, Redmond then blasted a well-struck shot at Dúbravka again, following a corner, the Newcastle goalkeeper parrying the ball away.
“I think this is the next step we have to go in such tight games. We have to be more clinical in those moments. It was our third game in a week where we were investing a lot, it’s normal that our concentration wasn’t the highest after such moments. But in that moment, you must know that this can decide the game. When you are 1-0 up, then you must take something here.” – Ralph Hasenhüttl
Potentially emerging as Fantasy differential in recent weeks is Jonjo Shelvey (£5.0m) who scored his third goal in as many matches against Southampton.
While there was controversy about his effort at Sheffield United midweek, there was none as he headed Newcastle level on Sunday afternoon.
The Magpies midfielder is arguably showing plenty of versatility in terms of how he’s grabbing his goals right now.
Against Manchester City, he smashed home a powerful pile-driver from distance, at Bramall Lane, he was the one running beyond the centre-forward in order to get clear on goal and on Sunday afternoon Shelvey displayed his aerial abilities.
His free-kick into the box was cleared to the right flank where Andy Carroll (£5.4m) collected the ball and lofted a cross back into the box which Shelvey nodded beyond Alex McCarthy (£4.3m).
If Shelvey can continue to establish himself as a source of attacking returns in the Newcastle squad, that could be of interest to Fantasy managers.
Thus far, offensive options have not shown much reliable form for Steve Bruce’s side, most of the goals coming from a collection of defensive assets.
Shelvey is now clear as the top goalscorer for Newcastle players this season but, prior to Gameweek 14, he was level with two other players, both of whom were defenders.
As things stand, Ciaran Clark (£4.3m), Fernández and Willems are joint-second on two goals each, with the former Swansea man adding to his total against Southampton.
Below them, Fabian Schär (£5.0m), Jamaal Lascelles (£4.3m), DeAndre Yedlin (£4.4m), Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.4m), Matthew Longstaff (£4.5m) and Joelinton (£5.6m) are all tied on one Premier League goal each.
Either way, it is clear that Shelvey presents the only remotely viable route into Newcastle’s attack this season.
That said, Newcastle could seriously miss the pace and power of Saint-Maximin as he came off with a suspected hamstring issue against Southampton.
The winger was taken off with an ankle problem at Bramall Lane and manager Bruce admitted after the latest win that he regretted not benching him in order to preserve his fitness ahead of a busy schedule.
“We don’t know how serious it is. I will kick myself if he is out for a long time. He is that maverick free spirit we have to manage. He wanted to play, to be fair to him. He had a nasty ankle the other night and was hobbling around, but when he pulls up the way he did, then we all fear the worst and that is the downside of playing somebody tired.” – Steve Bruce
Going into Gameweek 17, Newcastle have one of the more favourable runs of fixtures from a defensive perspective, especially as they meet Burnley and Crystal Palace in their next two matches.
However, whether or not they can be trusted with defensive investment remains to be seen as they still have just one clean sheet from Gameweek 9 onwards.
Newcastle United XI (5-4-1): Dúbravka; Willems, Dummett, Clark (Schär 46′), Fernández, Manquillo; Saint-Maximin, Shelvey, Hayden, Almirón (S Longstaff 85′); Joelinton (Carroll 59′).
Southampton XI (4-4-2): McCarthy; Bertrand, Bednarek, J Stephens, Cédric; Redmond, Højbjerg, Ward-Prowse, Djenepo (Boufal 73′); Ings (Adams 88′), S Long.
Gameweek 16 – FPL Match Reports
- Everton 3-1 Chelsea
- Bournemouth 0-3 Liverpool
- Spurs 5-0 Burnley
- Watford 0-0 Crystal Palace
- Man City 1-2 Man Utd
- Aston Villa 1-4 Leicester
- Newcastle 2-1 Southampton
- Norwich 1-2 Sheffield Utd
- Brighton 2-2 Wolves
- West Ham 1-3 Arsenal
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