Newcastle v Wolves Cheat Sheet
Newcastle v Wolves
Sunday afternoon sees Wolves travel north to St James’ Park to face a Newcastle side who are on a poor run of form. The home side have not won since the start of February and have lost three on the bounce, albeit to Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City. The visitors come into this one on the back of a 1-0 home victory over Spurs as boss Julian Lopetegui helps to ease some concerns of relegation when he was brought into the club.
Newcastle fans are delighted with their first full season with their new ownership. However, they have to be careful that the season does not fizzle out for them having lost the EFL Cup final to Manchester United. They reached the dizzy heights of third and looked likely to secure a Champions League place this season but no league wins in five with just two goals scored has left them four points behind Spurs in fourth, although they do have two games in hand on the London club. They have still only lost three games in the league this season, but two of those have been in the last two games – including their only defeat at St James’ Park to this point – a 2-0 loss to Liverpool. At St James’ Park, they have seen just 27 goals in their 12 games, with six of those coming in a 3-3 classic against Manchester City back in August.
Their main concern right now should be the lack of goals, having scored just six goals in the Premier League since the World Cup break – the fewest of any team in the league. A 90th minute Saint-Maximin goal rescued a point for Newcastle as they earnt a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture at the end of August. Joelinton is suspended both this week and next following his 10th booking of the season at Manchester City las weekend but Fabian Schar could return at the back. Ryan Fraser, who played with Eddie Howe at Bournemouth, has been told to play with the Under-21s after a disagreement with his manager and Emil Krafth is a long-term absentee.
Bruno Lage started well at Wolves last season but after a big summer window, they will have hoped for a strong start, which they did not have. He was replaced by Steve Davis who was given the job on a short-term basis but he only managed one league win in seven and was replaced by former Sevilla manager Julian Lopetegui whilst the World Cup was on. Results have improved drastically, with 17 of Wolves’ 27 points coming in his tenure, winning five of his 11 matches in charge – most impressively beating Liverpool 3-0. A late Adama Traore winner helped earn them a 1-0 victory over Spurs last time out to move up to 13th. However, Lopetegui will be wary that his team are still just five points above the drop zone and he will be looking to reach the magic 40 points mark.
However, they have scored just nine goals and picked up ten points in their 13 games on the road this season, winning just two. Hugo Bueno remains out with a hamstring injury, so Jonny should continue at left-back, and Wolves also have a few doubts coming into this one. Hwang Hee-Chan and Boubacar Traore may both miss out and Diego Costa went off injured in the first half against Spurs. Adama Traore may replace Pedro Neto on the wing following his winning goal last weekend.
Newcastle games average 2.17 goals so far this season, rising slightly to 2.25 at home this season. At St James’ Park they have kept a clean sheet in over half of their games (58%) and both teams have scored in just one third of their matches. None of their last five and just two of their last ten here have seen three or more goals. Chelsea (22) and Wolves (25) are the only team in the league to see fewer goals than Newcastle (27) at their home ground in the Premier League this season.
Wolves games also see very few goals, averaging 2.08 every matchday. Away from Molineux, this rises to 2.23 but they have only seen three or more goals in 46% of games on the road. This market has landed in their last two on the road and in three of their six in the Premier League since the World Cup. This market has also landed in each of their last four, with just one of those games seeing both teams find the back of the net. The return fixture finished 1-1 and this selection would have landed.
Newcastle have taken 163 corners this season, the third most of any team behind Manchester City (171) and Liverpool (167). At home, they have taken five or more corners in 83% of their matches, and in four of their last five – including against Liverpool where they were reduced to ten men after 22 minutes. Across their last ten league games, this selection has landed on eight occasions, and they have amassed eight or more in three of those.
In their last ten league matches, they have conceded 50 corners at a rate of exactly five per game. They have conceded at least five in 70% of games in that time. In their last five away league matches, they have conceded at least five corners in four. In the reverse fixture, Newcastle had an enormous 13 corners away from home.
Newcastle games have averaged four cards this season, rising to 4.17 at home. At St James’ Park, four or more cards have been shown in 58% of games and in three of the last five here. At least three cards have been awarded in each of the last five here and eight of the last ten. Newcastle have been shown two or more cards in four of their last five in the league.
Wolves away games have averaged 4.08 cards per game this season, with this selection landing in 62% of their games on the road, including in seven of their last ten. In their matches away from home, they have drawn at least one yellow card in every match and had at least two given to them in 62% of games.
The referee for this one is Andy Madley who averages 3.77 cards per game across his 17 Premier League matches this season. His last two matches – Liverpool vs Manchester United and Everton vs Leeds – have both seen five cards shown. Across his last seven, there have been 37 cards with at least four in five of those seven games. The Englishman showed nine yellow cards in the stalemate between Newcastle and Arsenal – only match involving the Toon he has ruled over this season. He has not been a part of a Wolves Premier League match yet.
Bruno Guimaraes is averaging 54.4 passes attempted per 90 minutes. At St James’ Park, he has played nine league games. In six of those games, he has attempted 50 or more passes with he exceptions being 28 (in 45 minutes) against Fulham, 46 against Aston Villa and 31 against Manchester City. He should see more of the ball here and given Newcastle’s issues in front of goal recently, he should help to provide some more attacking impetus, having missed a large chunk of February with suspension. The Brazilian was injured in the return fixture but last season he had 45 passes in 87 minutes against Wolves in a far worse Newcastle side.
Excluding Southampton and Bournemouth who are both very negative sides, Wolves have had less possession than their opponents in the last seven matches, which should mean that Guimaraes will be allowed to dictate the play. Spurs midfielders Pierre Hojbjerg (77) and Oliver Skipp (65) both attempted at least 50 passes last week.
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