Tottenham - Newcastle Preview: Spurs take on resurgent Magpies amid nine-game unbeaten run
Alan Pardew’s side recorded their first back-to-back wins of the season last week, but now face a fearsome trip to White Hart Lane where they were hammered 5-0 last year
By Ewan Roberts
Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto
Lennon, Holtby, Bale
Debuchy, S Taylor, Coloccini, Santon
Gutierrez, Sissoko, Gouffran
Tottenham are without Jermain Defoe (ankle), who picked up an injury in the 1-0 win over West Brom, so Clint Dempsey is likely to start up front.
Though Togo have been knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations, Emmanuel Adebayor’s return from South Africa was delayed and he is not expected to start.
Sandro (knee) is out for the remainder of the season, though Younes Kaboul (also knee) will return to training next week and could be available within three weeks.
Newcastle have Cheikh Tiote available once more, with the midfielder’s Ivory Coast team having been knocked out of the Afcon by Nigeria, though he may have to settle for a spot on the bench.
Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring) remains absent, so Jonas Gutierrez and Yoan Gouffran will keep their places either side of Moussa Sissoko, fresh from his man-of-the-match display against Chelsea.
Danny Simpson (toe), Ryan Taylor and Dan Gosling (both knee) remain injured, while new signing Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is not expected to usurp Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor in defence.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Tottenham are unbeaten in their last nine Premier League games, scoring 13 goals and conceding just four – and only Manchester United (two) have failed to score in fewer games than Spurs (three).
- The White Hart Lane outfit have only conceded eight goals in their last 13 games, and have kept a clean sheet in six of their last eight home matches against Newcastle.
- Clint Dempsey (pictured right), likely to deputise for the injured Jermain Defoe up front, has five goals in his last seven games for Spurs, and netted for USA in midweek.
- Spurs have won 77.7 per cent of the league matches in which Gareth Bale has scored, though only two of the Welshman’s 11 Premier League goals have come at home this season.
- No side has averaged more shots at home than Tottenham (22.7 per game), while 74% of the north London club’s goals have been in the second half of matches.
- Newcastle recorded their first back-to-back victories of the season against Aston Villa and Chelsea – before that, Alan Pardew’s side had lost six of their previous eight games. The Toon are 16/1 to win 2-1 with bet365.
- The Magpies have conceded 23 goals in their last 10 games, despite their woodwork also being struck a league-high 16 times this season.
- The St James’ Park outfit have averaged more long balls per game (73) than any other side in the Premier League.
- Only Aston Villa (51) have received more yellow cards than Newcastle (49), while no player has been booked more often than James Perch (eight).
- Newcastle’s 3-2 victory over Chelsea last Saturday was the first time in 27 months that they came from behind to win a Premier League match – the last occasion was a 2-1 win against West Ham in October 2010.
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Top 3 Predictions
Tottenham 2-1 Newcastle United
- 16.63 %
Tottenham 1-2 Newcastle United
- 11.97 %
Tottenham 1-1 Newcastle United
- 9.57 %
|Premier League (EPL)||12 Feb 2014||Newcastle United 0 - Tottenham 4|
|Premier League (EPL)||10 Nov 2013||Tottenham 0 - Newcastle United 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||9 Feb 2013||Tottenham 2 - Newcastle United 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||18 Aug 2012||Newcastle United 2 - Tottenham 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||11 Feb 2012||Tottenham 5 - Newcastle United 0|
|2 Mar 2014||Tottenham 1 - Cardiff City 0||EPL|
|27 Feb 2014||Tottenham 3 - Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 1||EL|
|23 Feb 2014||Norwich City 1 - Tottenham 0||EPL|
|20 Feb 2014||Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 1 - Tottenham 0||EL|
|12 Feb 2014||Newcastle United 0 - Tottenham 4||EPL|
The January signing from Schalke has made an immediate impression on Tottenham, offering vision, movement and creativity to a side that had been devoid of ingenuity since the departures of Rafael van der Vaart and Luka Modric. The 22-year-old flutters into space, exploits gaps, recycles possession and threads passes. He found his target with 95% of his passes against West Brom, while only Gareth Bale played more passes in the final third.
Newcastle’s new recruit gave a stunning home debut against Chelsea, scoring twice and showing off his monstrous mix of pace, power and technique. The 23-year-old, playing in an advanced role just behind Papiss Cisse, has galvanised the ailing Magpies, helping them record back-to-back wins for the first time this year (having also notched an assist against Aston Villa). Sissoko’s bullish directness and raw speed could be too much for Tottenham to handle.
Newcastle travel to north London with their confidence and optimism restored, though their attacking intent may be curbed by memories of the 5-0 mauling they suffered at White Hart Lane last year. Tottenham are in good form, unbeaten in nine games, but, with Jermain Defoe injured and Emmanuel Adebayor unlikely to start, their front-line lacks potency. If the Magpies can stop Gareth Bale, they can pick up at least a point.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed