NEWCASTLE 1-2 LEEDS
- Goals: Miguel Almiron (£5.6m) | Raphinha (£5.4m), Jack Harrison (£5.4m)
- Assists: Callum Wilson (£6.6m) | Rodrigo Moreno (£5.7m), Raphinha
- Bonus Points: Raphinha x3, Almiron x2, Harrison x1
A star turn by Raphinha (£5.4m) earned Leeds a first win since Gameweek 16 as Patrick Bamford (£6.7m) blanked and was subbed off after 59 minutes for an inglorious one-pointer.
In Fantasy terms, it was all about how the 50.1% owned Bamford would get on against a defence with just the one clean sheet since Gameweek 10, with a decent level of interest in Stuart Dallas (£4.8m and 14.1%) and Callum Wilson (£6.6m and 18.8%) to add some spice.
Rapha the Gaffa
There was no suggestion that Bamford was taken off with an injury issue.
In the end, he simply had a poor match and was easily upstaged by midfielder Raphinha, who scored his second goal in four Gameweeks to make it five attacking contributions from his last six starts.
And he wasn’t finished there either, setting up Jack Harrison’s (£5.4m) winner just four minutes after Newcastle had levelled through Miguel Almiron (£5.6m).
Leeds’ schedule doesn’t exactly scream investment. Once a weekend trip to Leicester is out of the way, they’ll host Everton, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa and travel to Arsenal, Wolves and West Ham.
What it doesn’t do is scream sales either, although Bamford is surely on borrowed time for many as he’s scored just once since Gameweek 13.
But if any Leeds player is going to break into a few FPL squads, it could be Raphinha, who now has three goals and as many assists from a season in which he only started his first match in Gameweek 10.
Harrison remains the side’s highest point-scoring midfielder In FPL, with 76, and he made it two goals in four matches with the winner at St James’ Park.
More interest surrounded Dallas, however, as the defender was again handed a place in midfield by coach Marcelo Bielsa.
Dallas, with three goals and two assists, remains the team’s most potent defender, but his attacking threat is not necessarily enhanced by a place in midfield.
And while his points from six clean sheets are always welcome, only two teams have conceded more goals than the 35 let in by Leeds.
Dallas appeared to be limping at times in the second half, not that Bielsa seemed concerned post-match.
“I couldn’t tell you how he is at the moment because I haven’t been informed of anything just yet.”
The coach was more worried about centre-half Diego Llorente (£4.4m), who lasted just nine minutes of his first league start for the club before succumbing to a hamstring problem.
“He has a similar problem to the one as before. It’s a problem for him, us, all of us. In this moment, Diego’s state of mind worries me because of the succession of injures.”
BRUCEY NO BONUS
Bielsa’s Newcastle counterpart, Steve Bruce, rolled the dice after the break, bringing on Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.1m) and unshackling a side that had been set up to negate Leeds’ attacking threat rather than exploit the visitors’ defensive weaknesses.
It worked, in terms of stats if not the result, as Bruce acknowledged.
“We had 20-odd shots, we hit the bar and we were unfortunate we didn’t score more. That’s the best we’ve played in weeks. It was good to see the forward players on the pitch to make that possible for us, what a difference if we keep Ryan Fraser right – and Miguel Almiron – then we know we are going to be that threat.”
It’s going to take more than words to convince Fantasy managers to go near Newcastle assets at present.
And the one Magpies player with significant FPL ownership – Wilson – has now blanked for six straight Gameweeks.
Newcastle (5-4-1): Darlow; Murphy (Saint-Maximin 64), Hayden, Schar, Lascelles, Lewis; Shelvey, Hendrick, Almiron, Fraser (Gayle77); Wilson.
Leeds (4-5-1) : Meslier; Allioski (Klich 56), Cooper, Llorente (Struijk 10), Ayling; Phillips, Dallas, Raphinha, Rodrigo, Harrison; Bamford (Roberts 60).
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