Jonjo Shelvey

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Magpies come back to sour Cherries at St. James

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DeAndre Yedlin and Ciaran Clark scored to lead Newcastle United back from an early deficit, as the Magpies collected a 2-1 win over Bournemouth at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The Magpies are now unbeaten in three and sit 11th with 15 points, one behind seventh place Bournemouth.

The Cherries goal came via Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson off a delightful training ground corner kick.


Three things we learned

1. Magpies defenders are attackers (again): Steve Bruce‘s Newcastle has seen seven of its last nine goals come courtesy of backs, and today it was Clark and Yedlin rewarded for following the ball to goal. Clark scored for the second-straight match while his American teammate joined Federico Fernandez, Fabian Schar, Jamaal Lascelles, and Jetro Willems on the score sheets this season. In game rife with harsh tackles and seedy moves, perhaps its fitting the backs made the difference.

2. Saint-Maximin a difference maker (also, again): Newcastle’s French wing wizard was again perplexing for a Premier League defense. While he still hasn’t found the required goals of his position, his passing, dribbling, and use of space remains upper echelon in the league. If he starts firing home, look out.

3. King butchers late chance: There should’ve been a late point for the visitors, but the Cherries long time finisher didn’t finish his chance. Joshua King was at the back ahead of Dubravka, who was a bit suspect all day, but couldn’t turn his header inside the far post with mere seconds to go in stoppage time.

Man of the Match: 


[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

The Cherries were very lively from the jump, and Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka was called into action several times before the opener.

That’s when a clever short corner routine ended with Wilson’s goal, as the Liverpool loanee darted free of Jetro Willems to side-foot a shot inside the near post.

Newcastle took a second hit when captain Jamaal Lascelles was forced off with an injury.

The Magpies, oddly enough, then found the run of play and both Jonjo Shelvey and Joelinton came close. Allan Saint-Maximin set up both players.

Saint-Maximin cooked Steve Cook to beat Aaron Ramsdale but smashed off the cross bar as the match approached the first half’s final five minutes.

That’s when the American beat the Bournemouth back line and VAR, Yedlin heading Saint-Maximin’s cross into a yawning cage from a back post position.

[ WATCH: Yedlin’s equalizer ]

Newcastle took its first lead when Willems’ back post cross was knocked down by Fernandez into the path of Clark, who just poked past Ramsdale for 2-1.

Ramsdale bailed out his backs on a 78th minute Saint-Maximin chance, catching the ball and watching Almiron miss the empty cage under duress.

The Cherries did good work to find an equalizer, but King’s late miss was a symptom of their sickness.

Premier League player Power Rankings

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Our latest Premier League player Power Rankings see USMNT star Christian Pulisic still flying high in the top five.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Matchweek 11 was a beauty, with players from Liverpool, Chelsea and Leicester City all present throughout our top 20.

Remember: this is a list of the top 20 performing players right now in the Premier League. If they didn’t play in the last matchweek, they aren’t getting in this list!

Let us know in the comments section below if you agree with the selections.


1. Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – Up 10
2. Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) – New entry
3. Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) – Down 2
4. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) – Down 2
5. Raul Jimenez (Wolves) – New entry
6. Andy Robertson (Liverpool) – New entry
7. Caglar Soyuncu (Leicester) – New entry
8. Kyle Walker (Man City) – New entry
9. Ben Foster (Watford) – Even
10. Phillip Billing (Bournemouth) – New entry
11. Jorginho (Chelsea) – Up 7
12. Marcus Rashford (Man United) – Down 6
13. Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) – Even
14. Youri Tielemans (Leicester City) – Even
15. Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool) – Even
16. Steve Cook (Bournemouth) – New entry
17. Willian (Chelsea) – Up 3
18. Leandro Trossard (Brighton) – New entry
19. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) – New entry
20. Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle) – New entry

The story of the Premier League season in expected goals, points

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Human error and exceptional efforts mean that production often goes unrewarded in sports. It’s “why we watch” and why they don’t hand out trophies based on theory.

According to Opta, the expected goals (xG) “measures the quality of a shot based on several variables such as assist type, shot angle and distance from goal, whether it was a headed shot and whether it was defined as a big chance.”

[ MORE: Emery attacker use in focus ]

Plenty of goals, like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang‘s first touch, 11-yard shot from the center of the box against Wolves, are xG. Others, like Jonjo Shelvey‘s unruly, long free kick against West Ham, are not.

Many times, the xG data shows us a game very similar to the final score line. Take Manchester City’s 3-0 defeat of Aston Villa on Oct. 26, where Villa missed a big chance but things otherwise went exactly as expected given the chances produced by Pep Guardiola‘s men (Graphics via the exceptional twitter.com/MC_of_A)

Now consider Christian Pulisic‘s hat trick game for Chelsea at Burnley, a 4-2 win for the Blues, when some moments of individual brilliance from both teams transcended the ordinary means of production. In an xG world, the Clarets win 2-1.

So it’s stands to reason that the site UnderStat shows us an xG table quite off from the Premier League table. Here are the teams producing or failing to produce outcomes befitting their created chances.

NOTE: Excuse some of the word choices here. It’s tricky to deal in what “should” or is “expected” to happen without sounding a bit absurd. No match, player, team, or season is accurately depicted by numbers, but an 11-match sample size is as good a time as any to see who’s living a charmed or cursed life in the Premier League.

Individual leaders

The top five players in xG+xA per 90 minutes (min. 400 minutes) belong to Man City (Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne) with only Tammy Abraham of Chelsea stopping Bernardo Silva from making it six of six. Mohamed Salah is eighth, while Christian Pulisic and Marcus Rashford are ninth and 10th.

Teams beating xG

Leicester City‘s early season has been remarkable, and was so well before the Foxes hung nine goals on Southampton. Brendan Rodgers‘ prolific men have scored 27 goals this season, almost 13 more than expected. On one hand, that’s pretty magical. On another, it could be foreshadowing.

Spurs have 17 goals this season, almost five more than their xG total.

Sheffield United have conceded a miserly eight goals this season, and that’s almost seven fewer than xG.

Players in xG wilderness

Given his side’s “over-performance,” it’s not a surprise to see Jamie Vardy‘s 10 goals coming in about 5.48 more than his expected 4.52

Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino is living in a different world, his three goals and three assists about 2 lower than expected. Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe is expected to have scored three goals this season, but has just one.

And how about Sheffield United’s David McGoldrick, who has not scored in 565 minutes but could have 3.31 goals according to the table? West Ham’s Andriy Yarmolenko is expected to have 3.28 assists, not one, while Miguel Almiron hasn’t delivered to the tune of 2.34 xG+xA

xG table, in points

According to xG, it’s not a big surprise that Man City should be leading the table. The two-time reigning champs and xG darlings gave 25 points, but were expected to claim about 27.

Meanwhile, Leicester (-6.83) and Liverpool (-8.3) are flying past their xG totals, and Newcastle (-4.13) isn’t far behind. Manchester United (+7.48), Everton (+6.82) and Watford (+9.16) are scratching their heads.

Here’s how the Top Six would look in an xG world:

  1. Man City, 26.8 xPTS (25 on real table)
  2. Liverpool, 22.7 xPTS (31)
  3. Manchester United, 20.48 xPTS (13)
  4. Chelsea, 20.41 xPTS (23)
  5. Everton, 17.82 xPTS (11)
  6. Brighton and Hove Albion, 16.31 xPTS (15)

Newcastle United breaks out in win at West Ham

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Jonjo Shelvey scored a wonder goal and two of his center backs also found the net as Newcastle United beat West Ham United 3-2 at the London Stadium on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez also scored for the Magpies, whose 12 points have them 16th. That’s four places and a point below the Irons.

Fabian Balbuena and Robert Snodgrass scored late for West Ham, but it would’ve been larceny had the hosts taken a point.


Three things we learned

1. West Ham defense a first half shambles: Newcastle entered the day with six league goals and could’ve had four by halftime were it not for some close range saves by Roberto. Both goals came off short set pieces which saw the Irons undone by one or two extra passes.

2. Creativity to the (Saint)-Max: Allan Saint-Maximin butted heads with Patrick Vieira at Nice, but has been nothing but positive on-and-off the field for Newcastle. His dribbling wizardry has brought something to Newcastle missing since the days of Hatem Ben Arfa. Yet to be rewarded with a goal — and he should’ve had two on Saturday — “Saint-Max” is one of the redemptive reasons to watch Newcastle despite the 5-4-1 formation.

3. Shelvey steps in and shines: The only certainty when it comes to a Jonjo Shelvey start is unpredictability (We know the logic doesn’t work there). Stepping in for Matty Longstaff, the bald-headed passing maestro scored and incredible free kick and struck the cross bar as well. Steady next to Isaac Hayden, Shelvey has a shot to keep his spot when Sean Longstaff returns from suspension.

Man of the Match: Jetro Willems — The Eintracht Frankfurt loanee was a delightful playmaker who provided plenty of tackles, interceptions, and field changing on the night.


The teams traded corners before Miguel Almiron won a free kick on the edge of the 18.

Jonjo Shelvey’s long swung kick was headed back across goal by Joelinton, and Clark headed it past Roberto for 1-0 in the 16th.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

It was 2-0 in the 22nd through another center back, as Fernandez had time and room to head home Jetro Willems’ cross off a short corner.

Allan Saint-Maximin then arrived behind the West Ham to back line for a long 1v1 dribble ended by a substandard strike saved by Roberto.

The Magpies were all over the Irons, Saint-Maximin stopped on another breakaway from Roberto and then playing Almiron who saw his shot saved, too. Then Shelvey smashed the cross bar.

West Ham had a few solid chances inspired by Robert Snodgrass, but Martin Dubravka was credited with a few good saves for the Magpies.

Roberto made another diving save to deny Saint-Maximin in stoppage time, and Shelvey’s corner was defended before the match hit halftime.

Saint-Maximin turned playmaker in the second half with a chip to DeAndre Yedlin, who was denied on his header and then by the offside flag after depositing the rebound.

Shelvey then delivered the stomach punch with a spinning free kick around the wall which snuck inside the near post.

Fabian Balbuena pulled one back for West Ham after Dubravka could only slap a cross onto his path in the 74th.

But wait, Snodgrass had something else to say with a sensational low volley inside the far post in the 90th.

Premier League preview: Leicester City v. Newcastle

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  • Leicester City five points behind second-place Man City
  • Newcastle United 19th through six games
  • Leicester have lost their last two home games against Newcastle

In Sunday’s lone match, Leicester City have the clear-cut opportunity to move behind Liverpool and Manchester City, but Newcastle United will look to make things difficult for the home side when they face-off at 11:30 a.m ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live ] 

It’s late September, and there’s no way around it: Brendan Rodgers has done well for the Foxes so far this season. In six games, Leicester have gathered three wins, drawn twice and lost once – to Manchester United at Old Trafford in a game that could have gone either way. In other words, in position to move into the top three with a win on Sunday.

From the looks of it, Jamie Vardy has held on to the Midas touch, and the departure of Harry Maguire is a thing of the past thanks to the emergence of 23-year-old Çağlar Söyüncü. James Maddison, who took a hit to the ankle against Tottenham is doubtful, but all things point to Rodgers having a near-healthy squad to choose from.

As far as things go for Newcastle, their situation is polar opposite. The Magpies have won only a game – a 1-0 victory over Tottenham – this season under Steve Bruce. And to no surprise, as the weeks go by, the pile continues to pile on the 58-year-old manager.

The serious hamstring injury Jonjo Shelvey suffered does Bruce and company zero favors; although, there is a break in the clouds for Newcastle as USMNT fullback DeAndre Yedlin is expected to be back on the bench after months of inactivity. Still, there is lots of work to be done for Bruce, who can really buy himself time with any positive result.

Injuries/suspensions

Leicester City: OUT – Daniel Amartey (ankle), Matty James (calf); QUESTIONABLE –  James Maddison (ankle)

Newcastle United: OUT – Matt Ritchie (ankle), Jonjo Shelvey (hamstring), Florian Lejeuene (knee), Dwight Gayle (calf); QUESTIONABLE – Allan Saint-Maximin (hamstring), DeAndre Yedlin (groin)


Projected lineups

Leicester City: Schmeichel; Chillwell, Söyüncü, Evans, Pereira; Maddison, Tielemans, Ndidi; Barnes, Vardy, Perez.

Newcastle United: Dubravka; Dummett, Lascelles, Schär; Willems, Longstaff, Hayden, Manquillo; Almiron, Joelinton, Atsu


What they’re saying

Leicester City manager Rodgers on facing Newcastle: “For us, we expect a very tough game,” he added. “They set up well, defend low, set deep and we have to be at our best to get the result.”

Newcastle United manager Bruce on their counterparts: “They’re a good side, and they’ve evolved into a very, very good side over the years. We know if we’re going to get something we’ll have to be at our best. We certainly have to be better in terms of goals – we understand that – and let’s hope that we can be with the players we’ve got coming back.”


Prediction

Newcastle performed well in Leicester under Rafa Benitez. He is no longer around, and the Magpies’ fortunes have turned upside down under Bruce. The visitors’ dire state and Leicester’s recent fine form put Newcastle’s chances bleak at best. Leicester City, 3-0.