Fantasy Premier League

What to do with Newcastle players in Fantasy?

By The Scout 27 Dec 2023
Trippier, Gordon

The Scout assesses whether managers should sell or bench Magpies stars for tough short-term fixtures

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Newcastle United’s downturn in form adds to the growing list of issues managers in Fantasy Premier League are having to plan around.

Kieran Trippier (£6.9m), the most-popular defender in the game, has returned a mere three points for his 42 per cent owners in his last five matches.

His team-mate Anthony Gordon (£6.2m), who is the fourth most-selected midfielder in Fantasy with an ownership of 24 per cent, has a single assist in the last five Gameweeks.

As a result, they are the two most-sold players in Gameweek 20, moved on by 81,000+ and 70,000+ respectively ahead of Saturday’s 11:00 GMT deadline.

Newcastle’s short-term schedule is also likely to be driving those sales. 

Eddie Howe’s side face three of the current top five in successive Gameweeks, visiting Liverpool and Aston Villa and entertaining Manchester City.

Newcastle’s next three Gameweeks
GW Opp. FDR
20   LIV (A)    4
21 MCI (H) 5
22  AVL (A) 3

But before making any transfers, managers cannot simply look at Newcastle’s poor form and fixtures in isolation.

The upcoming departures of Mohamed Salah (£13.3m) and Son Heung-min (£9.9m) in Gameweek 21 for international tournaments, combined with the potential return to fitness of Erling Haaland (£13.9m), are of far greater importance.

Managers will have two or potentially three free transfers between now and Gameweek 21. 

For millions, those moves are likely to involve selling Salah and Son, and buying Haaland back, providing he is fit.

Addressing these issues should be the top priority and therefore means there is no need to use transfers to sell your Newcastle players in the next two Gameweeks, at least.

By assessing the output of Gordon and Trippier, managers can determine whether to bench or play the pair in the upcoming period. 

Start or bench?

Gordon has blanked only once in 10 home appearances, scoring five goals and supplying five assists. By contrast, he has just one goal and one assist on the road.

Indeed, the winger has amassed 75 per cent of his points at St James' Park this season, with only 23 of his 92 points coming in away matches.

By contrast, there is almost no difference in Trippier’s attacking output across home and away matches.

Meanwhile, Newcastle have been far less resilient on their travels, with Trippier recording five of his six clean sheets at St James’ Park, his 55 points in home matches almost double that of his 30 points on the road.

Gordon/Trippier home/away comparison
Player Matches G A CS Pts
Gordon (H) 10 5 5 7 69
Gordon (A) 8 1 1 1 23
Trippier (H) 9 0 3  5 55
Trippier (A) 9 0 4 1 30
So, what should managers do?

Benching Trippier for the next two matches certainly looks a viable tactic, while Gordon owners should look to profit from his exceptional home form by starting him against Man City.

Beyond that, it’s then worth noting that Newcastle’s schedule improves significantly from Gameweek 23.

According to the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR), eight of their subsequent 10 matches score a mere two, giving them the opportunity to deliver attacking and defensive returns for many Gameweeks to come.

Using immediate transfers on Salah, Son and Haaland is of the utmost importance, which means managers can afford to be a little more patient with their Newcastle players.

Those who prefer owning only one premium defender should certainly reconsider holding onto Trippier in the long term, with Trent Alexander-Arnold (£8.4m) now clearly established as the standout pick. 

Nonetheless, Newcastle's extended run of very favourable fixtures still looks encouraging and Trippier’s potential for multiple routes to returns can make him a key target for those who prefer spending big at the back. 

Gordon’s low cost of £6.2m for a midfielder makes him an excellent value asset. Although the winger's next three fixtures aren’t particularly kind, the schedule beyond that suggest he's a long-term hold.

Also in this series

Part 2: What to do with premium stars in FPL after update on Haaland
Part 3: The Scout’s FPL Gameweek 20 Ones to watch
Part 4: Scout Selection: Best FPL team for Gameweek 20
Part 5: Who is the best FPL captain for Gameweek 20?
Part 6: FPL experts: Who to captain in Gameweek 20?
Part 7: Don't forget! Last chance to play first FPL Wildcard

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