By Dominic Toner
Football Insider analyses three talking points from Newcastle’s 2-0 victory against Leeds in Saturday’s Championship match at Elland Road.
Gayle is unstoppable in the Championship
Newcastle’s Dwight Gayle once again proved on Sunday why he is the most deadly striker in the Championship. He has now scored 13 goals in as many league games this season and added a bit of extra quality against Leeds. He worked tirelessly at Elland Road for his side and was rewarded with a tap in after Rob Green palmed the ball on the line. The 26-year-old showed the desire and energy to chase down a nothing ball and helped his side take the lead. He then demonstrated a forwards instinct to score the second after he made a well-timed run beyond the defender. Gayle is leading the golden boot race now by four goals and is even keeping the talented Aleksandar Mitrovic out of the side. He scored 25 goals in his 75 appearances for Crystal Palace and is ready for another attempt in the top-flight with Newcastle.
Newcastle should win promotion
Newcastle would have to suffer a dramatic turn in form to not secure promotion this season, with Rafael Benitez’s side looking by far the best team in the division. The Magpies spent big in the summer and already have a squad which could compete in the Premier League. They secured a relatively comfortable 2-0 win against in-form Leeds on Sunday and came through what was meant to be a huge test. Newcastle have won their last nine games in all competitions, with eight of them coming in the Championship, and are currently five points ahead of second-placed Brighton. More importantly they are nine points ahead of Reading in third and must make sure they secure promotion from this position.
Shelvey is the heartbeat of the side
Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey delivered yet another assured performance for Newcastle and remains a crucial member of the side. The 24-year-old has certainly stepped up to the plate this season and has featured in all 17 of the club’s Championship matches. He demonstrated his long range of passing as well as his defensive qualities against Leeds and must be one of the first names on Rafael Benitez’s team sheet. Shelvey is showing the type of football that earned him six England caps and made him a regular Liverpool option. Shelvey’s footballing brain was on show against Leeds as he played a quick free-kick through to Dwight Gayle and he appears to be two steps ahead of everyone.
In other Newcastle news, they are set to battle their Championship rivals for a Premier League legend.