Three Things Newcastle Should Do This Weekend To Pick Up Maximum Points vs Burnley
Rafa Benitez and his admirable Newcastle United side head to Burnley on Monday night, looking to add another crucial three points to their tally and keep themselves in the Premier League’s top seven.
Given their summer transfer window and the fact that they lost their first two league games, Newcastle’s position is incredible and the solidarity being shown between the manager, his squad and the fans right now is frankly old school and has been a pleasure to watch.
They go to Turf Moor with a difficult task on their hands against a side whose form, though slightly in and out, is good enough to make them many people’s idea of favourites for this game, though it would appear very close.
Here are three things Rafa is sure to have on his mind when finalising his game plan at Whitley Park:
Target Scott Arfield
Of Burnley’s regular first-team players, Arfield has committed more fouls per game than any other player in the Burnley side.
The midfielder, if selected, will line-up either in the middle or on the left of midfield and so players such as DeAndre Yedlin, Matt Ritchie, Jonjo Shelvey and Mikel Merino should be made aware of his shortcomings.
Should Arfield line up on the left, it would be wise for the marauding Yedlin to get forward as much as physically possible as not only will the Canadian not be to handle this, but may also resort to fouling the American right-back in order to stop him, something Newcastle can benefit greatly from with Matt Ritchie in the team.
Keep The Pace Fast
Although Newcastle, under Benitez’s expert tuition, have been able to sit back and soak up pressure to good effect and gain points against the likes of Liverpool, Crystal Palace and last season at Brighton and Huddersfield, their away results this season suggest it’s not the right thing to do for them.
When they were slow and careful at both Brighton and Huddersfield, they lost this time around, whereas all-action displays of positivity at Swansea City and Southampton led to 4 points and 3 goals from those games.
Burnley, with the greatest respect, are not a side that Benitez should fear and so an attack-minded team should be sent out at Turf Moor to ensure that the best possible result is achieved.
Get Mikel Merino On The Ball
Despite the presence of Shelvey’s expert long range passing and Matt Ritchie’s penchant for a key pass and excellent crosses, the presence of Mikel Merino is showing to be increasingly important.
His high rate of completed passes, key passes and completed dribbles are showing him as an all-round midfielder and his importance cannot be underestimated right now.