The new Sky Sports Power Rankings have been published.
The Power Rankings methodology reflects a player’s performance over the last five Premier League matchdays by awarding points to players for 32 different stats.
A heavier weighting is given to the most recent match in descending order to the fifth last one, with the intention of showing who is most in form.
After this latest round of matches which included Newcastle’s 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace, the rankings have now been updated.
Newcastle’s last five PL games have been (working backwards):
Crystal Palace 1 Newcastle 1
Newcastle 1 Burnley 1
Man City 3 Newcastle 1
Newcastle 1 Swansea 1
Stoke 0 Newcastle 1
The latest Power Rankings as published by Sky Sports:
As you can see, it is Mohamed Diame who is featuring at number 36 in these latest Sky Sports Power Rankings.
He has started all of the last five matches as Newcastle have beaten Stoke, drawn three games, and most only to Manchester City.
Diame of course scored Newcastle’s goal on Sunday and in this run of matches has improved immeasurably, unrecognisable compared to the previous 18 months.
In fact the upturn in form which started with victory at West Ham (Diame scoring one of the three goals) just before Christmas, has seen the midfielder central to that.
After a run of only one point in nine games, Newcastle have now only lost to Manchester City (twice) in the last eight games, Mohamed Diame starting seven of the eight (he wasn’t selected for the Newcastle 0 Brighton 0 match), the Senegalese player only having been selected for four Premier League games previous to that by Rafa Benitez.
Newcastle’s positives this season have mainly centred around the defence, outside of the top eight clubs, only Brighton have conceded less goals (35) than NUFC’s 36.
Centre-midfield has been a big disappointment, with any number of combinations of Shelvey, Hayden, Merino, Diame and Saivet used.
Rafa Benitez appears now to be going for a combination of Mohamed Diame alongside either Shelvey or Merino.
If Diame can keep this recent form going and Merino and/or Shelvey to also step up to what they are capable of, it would give Rafa a massive shot in the arm, to help give Newcastle a far more positive outlook especially in attack, with Kenedy already impressing and Slimani potentially set to be involved as from Sunday against Man Utd.