er gain on 12 was canceled out by a bog

Fri, Jan 12 2018 10:27pm PST 1
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Newcastle are top of the Sky Bet Championship but just how good are Rafael Benitezs side? Whoscored. Stephen Strasburg Jersey .com dig into the stats ahead of Sundays clash with Leeds United live on Sky Sports... The return of the Championship is bookended by the two biggest matches of the weekend, with the Sky cameras pitching up at the Amex Stadium for Brightons clash with Aston Villa on Friday night before Newcastles clash with Leeds at Elland Road on Sunday.High-flying Brighton are unbeaten in 10 games and host a resurgent Villa side who are yet to lose under new boss Steve Bruce. Its not an easy game, but it represents a chance for Chris Hughtons charges to move level on points with the team to beat at the top of the table. In the summer the bookies priced up Newcastle as the strongest favourites ever to win the Championship, such was the support behind a club that invested heavily in the transfer market and, crucially, kept hold of a manager whose CV is unrivalled at this level.Rafael Benitezs decision to stay on at St. James Park despite last seasons relegation from the Premier League was arguably the biggest factor behind the Magpies early billing as the second tiers best ever side. Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez was the Sky Bet EFL Manager of the Month for October Optimism was dampened after they lost their opening two matches to Fulham and Huddersfield at the start of the campaign, but having acclimatised to their new surroundings and bedded in a large number of summer arrivals, they are once again being touted as overwhelming favourites, despite Brightons close proximity in the table.A look at WhoScored.coms statistical team ratings actually suggests the Seagulls have been the stronger side over the course of the season. Their score of 7.02 is the highest in the league ahead of Newcastles 6.98, though both figures rank highly in relation to previous promoted sides. Leeds vs Newcastle November 20, 2016, 1:00pm Live on Get Sky Sports Get a Sky Sports pass In fact, the only two teams to have gone up in the last two seasons with a higher rating than either of this seasons top two are Leicester (7.00), in their title-winning 2013/14 campaign, and Bournemouth (7.04), when they won the league the following season. The subsequent success of both of those sides in the top-flight certainly suggests that both Newcastle and Brighton are well-equipped to make the step up.Moreover, if you were to exclude Newcastles ratings from their first two games of the season, the Magpies WhoScored.com rating would be 7.07. Its a figure that will surely rise further if they continue in their current vein of form, demonstrating that few teams in the Championships history can match the current leaders strength.One of the key factors behind the success of Benitezs side thus far has undoubtedly been their effective movements in the summer transfer window. While Dwight Gayle steals the spotlight in that regard, leading the scoring charts in Englands second tier with 11 goals for a rating of 7.34, the impact of a number of less heralded recruits has been just as decisive. Whoscored.coms top rated Newcastle players this season Of their first team regulars this season, four of Newcastles top six rated players are new arrivals.Top of the list is Ciaran Clark (7.42), who few would have expected to become such a key member of the side. Indeed, when Newcastle announced the capture of the defender from touted promotion rivals Aston Villa, it seemed a slightly odd move at the time. Benitez had already signed Grant Hanley to bolster his defensive ranks, had named Jamaal Lascelles as his captain and could also call upon Chancel Mbemba.In fact, Clarks addition was tipped in the local media to provide competition at left-back as much as centre-half, perhaps reading too much into the fact that the Ireland international had made a handful of appearances in that position at Villa. Ciaran Clark has impressed for Newcastle since his arrival from Aston Villa Make no mistake, though, Clark is central defender, and hes proving to be a very good one at this level. He has scored twice and is offering both the most interceptions (2.1) and clearances (8.1) per game for the club, while Newcastles record with the 27-year old at the back is exceptional.Ironically, the only game in 11 that Clark has not been on the winning side this season was a 1-1 draw back at Villa Park, with the Magpies losing three of five without him in the XI. Rafa not thinking of promotion Rafael Benitez insists hes not thinking about promotion yet. Meanwhile, alongside the impressive Jonjo Shelvey in the middle of the park, Isaac Hayden has also played an important role in ensuring Newcastles defence has been much improved. The Magpies were exposed to counter-attacks last season, but Hayden has provided the necessary protection. His average of 2.6 tackles per game is a team high, with 1.9 interceptions bettered only by Clark, helping him to a rating of 7.25.Along with Gayle, Matt Ritchie was the other real marquee signing and while the winger took a little time to adjust, he has also proven an astute acquisition. With two goals and five assists to his name in the league - the latter is a joint high in the Championship - he is beginning to have the sort of effect Benitez would have hoped in the final third. Matt Ritchie has made a strong start to life at St James Park Ritchie, after all, is a player that has excelled in a title-winning campaign, ranking among the top ten players in the second tier as Bournemouth were promoted, with a rating of 7.44 courtesy of superb figures of 15 goals and 17 assists.Its clear then, that while Newcastles enviable firepower in the form of Gayle, Mitrovic and Perez is seen as their greatest asset, Benitez has built a team that warrants its billing as outright favourites.Their credentials will be tested against an improving Leeds side on Sunday in a fixture steeped in top-flight tradition. While both will certainly be aiming to be back in the big time before long, its the Magpies who are flying right now. They are justifying the hype to make an immediate return appear a near certainty. Also See: Newcastle video Newcastle fixtures Newcastle stats Get a £10 free bet! Michael Taylor Jersey .J. Ellis have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year contract. Shawn Kelley Jersey . Pressley missed all of last season with Cincinnati because of a knee injury, but the 5-foot-10, 249-pounder had been expected to fill a need on Clevelands roster.Palm Beach Gardens, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Brad Fritsch fired a 6-under 66 in Sundays fourth round and he extended his advantage to six shots at the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament. Fritsch finished 72 holes at 20-under-par 266, which is six shots better than second-round leader Rick Cochran. Fritsch played his fourth round on the Champion Course Sunday. My caddie and I set a goal and were already there so we have to readjust the goal because I know there are a bunch of good players behind me, said Fritsch. Im going to keep my head down and keep going. Play rotates over the par-71 Champion Course and the par-72 Fazio Course at PGA National for the six-round tournament. Cochran carded a 2-under 69 and he is alone in second place at 14-under 272. Ted Purdy also shot a 69 and he holds sole possession of third place at 13- under 273. Hunter Hamrick (68) and Andrew Landry (69) are both tied for fourth at 12- under 274, while Michael Hebert (66), Greg Eason (67) and Matt Fast (72) are tied for sixth at minus-11. Fritsch started his day off strong before cooling off in the middle of his round. The Canadian drained three birdies on his first four holles on one, two and four before closing out his front nine with five straight pars from five. Joe Blanton Jersey. Fritsch traded a birdie on the 10th with a bogey on the 11th, which was his only blemish on the day. Fritsch made his fifth gain on No. 13, moving him to minus-4. Following a trio of pars from 14, Fritsch finished with back-to-back birdies on 17 and 18 to push his advantage to six heading into Mondays fifth round. Cochran, also playing on the Champion Course, played the front nine at even par with a birdie on five and a bogey on seven. Cochran made two birdies on 12 and 15 on the back nine to go along with seven pars to finish off his 2-under 69. Purdy, playing on the Champion Course, made one birdie on the front nine on No. 2 and made the turn at minus-1. Another gain on 12 was canceled out by a bogey on 14, but Purdy finished strong with a birdie at the last to complete his 69. NOTES: Fritschs best finish on tour last year was at the Rex Hospital Open, where he tied for fourth. He has never won on tour ... Fritsch had four top-10 finishes on the Web.com Tour last season ... The Champion Course has hosted the PGA Tours Honda Classic since 2007. Cheap NFL JerseysCheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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