After a moral boosting 5-1 win in midweek in Europe, Spurs must turn their attention back to the Premier League this weekend. Newcastle United are the visitors as Tottenham attempt to bounce back from last Saturday’s painful defeat at the hands of Manchester City.
Newcastle sit 18th after a dismal start to the campaign. Manager Alan Pardew has been under intense pressure, through a succession of bad results. Last week’s 1-0 win over Leicester was their first victory of the season in the league. They have 7 points, four points and 9 places below Tottenham.
Pardew has tended to go with a 4-2-3-1. His side like to cross the ball, prefer to attack down the right hand side and are dangerous from counter attacks.
Somewhat surprisingly Newcastle have some pretty good statistics, as can be seen from my analysis of shot ratios. They are fifth in the league for shots per game, only beaten by the top four from last season. The numbers hint at a better side than their results suggest – Spurs must not underestimate them.
Newcastle won this game last season 1-0 with a resolute defensive display. It will be interesting to see if Pardew adopts similar tactics this time round. Solid, compact teams, congesting the middle of the pitch, tend to cause Tottenham problems.
Spurs fans might prefer to remember the excellent 4-0 win at St. James’ Park. A false dawn for the Tim Sherwood regime.
Spurs are favourites at 1.77, the draw is 4.0, while a Newcastle win is out at 5.1
Fazio is suspended after his red card last weekend. Bentaleb, Naughton and Walker are all out, leaving Tottenham short in defence, particularly at right back.
Newcastle have a long injury list. Cheick Tiote, Mike Williamson, Emmanuel Riviere and Sammy Ameobi all face late fitness tests too.
Potentially the biggest pre-match news is that Pappiss Cisse is a doubt with a knee problem. The Senegalese striker has rediscovered his shooting boots this term, with four league goals.
The big decision for Pochettino is who to play up front. Adebayor has been the manager’s first choice so far, but Soldado did well last week, linking up effectively with Mason, Chadli and Eriksen. After his hat-trick in midweek it’s hard to ignore Harry Kane.
I would go with Soldado and my poll in the week agreed. After resting the Spanish striker for the Europa League game, it looks likely that Pochettino shares this view.
I would like to see Vertonghen back in defence. He was missed last week as City outpaced and outplayed our centre backs. With Fazio suspended and Dier needed at right back, there aren’t a lot of other options.
Prediction: Tottenham 3 – Newcastle United 1
Are you confident ahead of Spurs clash with Newcastle? Let me know in the comments below.
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