Newcastle head to North London to take on Andre Villas-Boas and his top-four challenging Tottenham Hotspur outfit at White Hart Lane tomorrow lunchtime.
It’s an early kick-off (12:45pm) being broadcast live on Sky Sports here in the UK and live on many other channels around the world so I hope for a better showing than we managed on our last trip to the Lane.
That night we were completely outplayed and were blown away by a rampant Spurs outfit who were four goals up without reply at half-time, with Emmanuel Adebayor adding a fifth and final goal midway through the second half in a 5-0 thumping that remains Alan Pardew’s heaviest defeat as manager of United.
Tottenham are in good form and are unbeaten in nine games, but Newcastle are also buoyed by recent results and events. Will that be enough to stop Spurs springing into third place for a few hours at the very least? We’ll see.
Jermaine Defoe has been ruled out for three weeks after picking up an ankle injury in the victory over West Brom last week. Younes Kaboul, Sandro and Tom Huddlestone are all rated as doubtful whilst it’s unknown whether Emmanuel Adebayor will be alright to start the match or even if he is back from Africa yet. It wouldn;t be the first time he’s not reported back from international duty on time…
Cheik Tiote returns to the squad after being part of the Ivory Coast side knocked out of ACoN by Nigeria. Hatem Ben Arfa’s return has been put back due to a virus and now looks unlikely to return until the game with Southampton at the end of the month. Ryan Taylor and Dan Gosling are training again but Haris Vuckic and Danny Simpson miss out.
As mentioned earlier, our last game on this ground wasn’t pretty and coincidentally it took place pretty much bang on a year ago. However we did beat Spurs earlier on in the season in Andre Villa-Boas’ first game in charge of his new club.
At White Hart Lane there have been 74 games in all competitions over the years. Spurs have won 40, Newcastle have won 21 with 13 draws making up the numbers.
The record is a little bit closer when you look at all games (home and away) but it’s still Spurs who come out on top having won 62 times compared to United’s 54 victories with 32 draws making up the 148 fixtures that have been played between the two clubs.
Stats and facts:
Newcastle last won at White Hart Lane back in 2008. The score was 4-1. Since then we’ve failed to score on our subsequent three trips to Spurs, failing to score and conceding eight goals in the process.
Nine of Gareth Bale’s 11 Premier League goals have been scored away from White Hart Lane.
Mike Williamson could make his 100th appearance for the Magpies.
Newcastle have conceded 18 goals in their last seven games and have failed to keep a clean sheet in the last 16 meetings with Spurs.
It’s going to be tough. Much is being made of their lack of strikers but they still have Clint Dempsey who loves scoring against us and possibly Adebayor, not to mention an in-form Gareth Bale. They have pace which is something we’ve struggled with at times this season.
Having said that we’ve looked good since our new arrivals joined the ranks and we gave Chelsea a good going over. That was on our own doorstep though so it will be interesting to see if our foreign legion can do the business against a top side without 50,000 Geordies screaming them on.
Personally I’d be delighted with a draw. It would leave us needing four wins from our remaining twelve games to get to that magical 40 point mark which apparently guarantees safety these days. Mind you, three points would be better…
Howay the lads!
Date: Saturday, 9th February, 2013
Venue: White Hart Lane