Stats suggest Cheick Tiote could be crucial in Newcastle survival bid

St James Park

The Ivorian has played a pivotal role in Newcastle's last two games, with the stats suggesting he could be a key part of their survival bid.

Cheick Tiote could have a big say in whether Newcastle United retain their Premier League status, with statistics showing the Magpies are stronger with the Ivorian in the side.

A commanding performance during Newcastle's 1-1 draw with Manchester City on Tuesday followed on from an impressive shift in the 3-0 win over Swansea City on Saturday, much to the delight of the Toon Army.

Rafa Benitez takes his side to Anfield to face former employers Liverpool this weekend, and the 29-year-old has a strong case for a place in the starting line-up, with Newcastle looking to go a third Premier League game unbeaten.

Indeed, Newcastle seem far more likely to get a positive result with Tiote in the team.

The midfielder has started 12 league matches, of which Newcastle have won four, drawn four and lost four, meaning they pick up an average of 1.3 points per game when he is part of the team.

However, when he hasn't played, Newcastle have only averaged just under 0.6 points per game.

Despite these figures, Tiote is a player that continues to divide opinion among  many of the fans on Tyneside, but with an average passing accuracy rate of 88 per cent - the highest of any Newcastle player - he is clearly an important part of an otherwise underachieving side.

Speaking the club's official website after the draw with Man City, Tiote gave his own thoughts on his recent performances.

He said: “When you play you need to enjoy yourself but also work hard in the right way, I was just doing my job, just doing my best to help the team stay in the Premier League.

“That is what we are all doing, working together and doing everything we can to have a good end to the season.

“I think it was a good point. We would have preferred to win but we weren’t able to, so we will take the one point and focus on building on it at Liverpool on Saturday.

“Before the game there probably weren’t many people outside who thought we could get anything, but we knew we could."

After suffering a catastrophic 3-1 defeat at Southampton earlier in the month, Newcastle have looked more defensively solid over the last two games, with Tiote convinced the improvement is the result of Benitez's work with the team.

“It is good. We do a lot of tactic work and you can see that in our performances,we didn’t give them (Man City) many chances, we are compact as a team and if we continue like that we have a chance to stay in the Premier League.

“If we play like today, I think we have a good chance.”

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