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Newcastle’s Defensive Record Will Be Key To Where They Finish This Season

Posted on October 23rd, 2017 | No Comments |

Joselu training
Joselu: Still has alot to prove
Newcastle United’s return to the Premier League is just reward for their impressive Championship campaign last season when they finished as champions, one-point clear of second placed Brighton. Newcastle’s front line were on fire last campaign out scoring every other club with 85 goals, and yet it was their back four who were most impressive conceding only 40 goals in 46 matches.

This was no mean feat in what many recognise as the most competitive league in the world. To put it in perspective, Newcastle managed to score more than twice as many goals as they conceded and more than Wigan and Blackburn combined. How they will fair against Premier League defences across the course of a season is unclear, but with just nine goals in their first eight matches they are unlikely to meet the dizzying heights of last season, even with the arrival of Joselu from Stoke City for £5 million in the summer. Joselu is priced at massive 5-1 to score more than 10 league goals this campaign, which tells you pretty much everything you need to know about where the Spaniard’s season may be heading.

Lascelles: New contract
Lascelles: Now signed until 2023
According to The Telegraph among others, Newcastle’s best bit of transfer business this season was in tying down captain Jamaal Lascelles to a new contract that will keep him at the club till 2023. The 23-year-old defender joined from Nottingham Forest in 2014, and was made captain by Rafa Benitez last season at only 22 years of age. It is clear for anyone to see the influence that Lascelles has at Newcastle, having already made 75 appearances for the club, and playing a pivotal role in last season’s rock solid defence.

This solid defence is typical of any Benitez side, and the former Liverpool manager has set his troops up as an outfit that is tough to beat. A stoic back line is imperative for any side wanting to beat the drop, and after the Toon’s impressive start to the season, few would argue with the fact that they are relatively far out in the betting to be relegated, at longer odds than the likes of West Ham. Outlets such as The Bookies Offers betting blog have praised Newcastle’s resilience in recent weeks, and few are tipping them for a return to the Championship.

The arrival of Javier Manquillo may have raised a few eyebrows on Tyneside, with the Spanish right-back having endured a rather torrid time in England thus far. Manquillo arrived in England back in 2014 on a two-year loan with Liverpool, however, he was unable to secure a starting spot under then manager Brendan Rodgers, with his loan being promptly cancelled after ten underwhelming appearances. After a mixed spell with Marseille during the 2015-16 campaign, he found himself back in England facing a tough season at the wrong end of the table with Sunderland. Although only making 20 appearances, he clearly did enough to impress Benitez, who shelled out £6 million to Atletico Madrid to extend his stay in the North East.

Newcastle’s back line have started the season strongly, conceding just eight goals in eight games, a respectable return considering they have come up against the likes of Harry Kane, Javier Hernandez and Liverpool’s attacking quartet of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho. Whether this impressive vein of form continues only time will tell, however even with games against Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City still to play, they have clearly done enough to convince most of sustaining their top ten finish.

NUFCBlog Author: Frankly Various Frankly Various has written 11 articles on this blog.

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