Newcastle vs Tottenham: Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted-line ups

This is it folks. After a successful season in the second tier last time out, our eagerly awaited return to the Premier League has finally arrived, with a date with Tottenham Hotspur awaiting at St. James’ Park tomorrow lunch time.

We return a different team, with new found heart and character, however tomorrow’s opposition are all too familiar, with our last Premier League game to date being that bittersweet 5-1 win over Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

Pre match thoughts ahead of the new season

Let’s get one thing straight. The ‘Rafalution’ has the potential to be many things, but long term success can only be achieved by consolidation and that’s what this season, for me, is all about.

As we all know, the transfer market has not been how we or Rafa Benitez first envisaged it. We have been unable to facilitate some of the big money buys and marquee signings we desire, leaving many to question the capability of this current crop in a league full of devastating quality, however one thing we do not lack is spirit, heart and commitment to the cause – a trait we’ve so often been missing in recent history.

This group of players may not be able to throw the punches like some clubs will be able too, but they certainly won’t throw the towel in. That spirt, combined with our clutch of capable players backed by Benitez’s know-how, tactics and experience, give us every chance of competing this season.



The form and newfound fitness of Jonjo Shelvey looks to be a huge bonus going into the game and I am also liking the look of new signing Florian Lejeune and Christian Atsu, with the former looking like a classy centre-back and superb bit of business, whilst Atsu looks to be full of confidence after a lively pre-season.

I expect Rafa to make us compact, disciplined and hart to beat, and those three traits must be on show on Sunday if we’re to have a fighting chance against Spurs.

They have the ability to hurt us, so we must be smart both defensively and offensively, utilising any opportunity that may arise for a quick counter attack.

I say counter attack because it would be naive to go toe to toe with them. Let’s be aggressive, get in their faces and take our chances to spring an attack, but over commit and the likes of Eriksen and Alli could have a field day running at our back four – and that’s forgetting the illustrious Harry Kane who’ll be sniffing for scraps that he tends to take more often than not.

We must also remember that we have a big part to play in each and every game at St. James’ Park this season, starting with Spurs tomorrow. On countless occasions Benitez has called for our backing and unconditional support and that is no coincidence – we are stronger together. Last season we expected to see off the opposition and nine times out of ten we did, but this season requires a very different approach.

We know the impact 52,000 screaming Geordies can have in that stadium, and we also know the reverse impact it can have when things become hostile and hairy. Let’s stay with our team and help make St. James’ Park a fortress again.

The opposition

The visitors may have failed to add a single senior signing this summer and Danny Rose’s comments will have done little to settle the Spurs camp ahead of this one, but we must not forget this is a team who have scored the most goals, conceded the least and won the most points over the past past two seasons combined.

Harry Kane is, in my opinion, the most devastating finisher in the Premier League at present, and is set to spearhead the Tottenham attack, backed up by the equally impressive Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli.

With issues at full-back and the fitness of midfield powerhouse Victor Wanyama in question, they could be missing a few first team regulars, but the spine of their side remains firmly intact, with the Rolls Royce of a midfielder Moussa Dembele set to screen the sturdy centre-back pairing of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.

Team news

A big boost ahead of tomorrow’s game is that star striker Dwight Gayle has trained and is available for selection. He has been struggling with a reoccurring hamstring complaint towards the back end of pre-season, but Benitez deemed him ‘OK’ to play in his pre-match presser yesterday.

We will have to do without last season’s first choice right-back DeAndre Yedlin for this one, with the former Spurs speedster picking up a hamstring injury in pre-season and Javier Manquillo is expected to make his competitive debut in place of the American.

Spurs looks set to be short on full-back’s with Kieran Trippier (ankle) and Danny Rose (knee) ruled out, whilst first team regulars Son and Wanyama are doubtful after suffering injury setbacks over pre-season. Erik Lamela has failed to recover from long term a hip problem and will miss out.

 

Predicted line-ups

Newcastle United XI – (4-2-3-1) – Elliot – Manquillo, Lejeune, Clark, Dummett – Hayden, Shelvey – Ritchie, Perez , Atsu – Gayle

Tottenham Hotspur XI (3-4-2-1) – Lloris – Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen – Sissoko, Dembele, Winks, Davies – Eriksen, Alli – Kane

 

Head to Heads

The 5-1 hammering we handed to Spurs at St. James’ Park was our last game in the Premier League to date, and could perhaps be playing on the minds of Pochettino’s men, who threw capitulated that day.

With 3 wins in our last 4 Premier League encounters with Spurs, this fixture has been kind to us over the last few seasons.

 

Match prediction

I see us putting up a real fight here, and don’t see us disgracing ourselves by any stretch, but think Tottenham’s quality may just shine through. The absence of Rose, Walker (sold), Trippier and (potentially) Son, strips some of the pace and width from their side, however they often move the ball well and will do damage if given enough space to operate in.

They are a slick side who often give little away but take every inch of what they are given, so little lapses in concentration cannot be afforded.

I see them enjoying large periods of possession, us pressing and pushing for a counter attack, but fear their telepathic front three will unlock the door, as hard as we try to slam it shut.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-2 Tottenham

Let us know your pre-match thoughts and predictions!

Howay the lads!

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmiss[email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Born in Gateshead, Olly was a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

37 thoughts on “Newcastle vs Tottenham: Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted-line ups

  1. Agree with them or not but he Soccer Saturday guys reckon we will be struggling unless we sign a striker. I’ve got to agree.

    I’ve seen some predictions that we will finish mid table but I really don’t see much evidence of that. Where are the goals?

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  2. Stuart79:
    Agree with them or not but he Soccer Saturday guys reckon we will be struggling unless we sign a striker. I’ve got to agree.

    I’ve seen some predictions that we will finish mid table but I really don’t see much evidence of that. Where are the goals?

    i agree mate,every team that has failed to score enough goals in the PL has gone down simples,no matter how good your m/f or defence is its someone who scores goals keep you with a chance of staying in the PL,Gayle will break down at some point because his head isnt right which even Rafa has pointed out

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  3. the thing that bothers me is “where”is a good striker going to come from on what we have to spend??,looks like Perez is off to Spain thats the only striker we could have got i cannot think of one at this stage of the market

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  4. Ice – that does seem disappointing but does it mean anything other than if Hazard was fit he wouldn’t be on the bench?

    Seems like the season’s started just like last season. Arsenal and Liverpool still can’t defend. Can we?

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  5. Cheers Olly, yes need to fully get behind the team and Rafa , and all try not to single out any one player for scape goating too as it could be counter productive. Rafa is a great coach but he’s been really ham strung on the striker situation, Gayle will not last sadly and unless Mitro suddenly hits blistering form we are in for a very tough season. We are not as poor as the pundits say though, they say we are a championship squad, well ok we will probs have 8-9 PL experienced players start tomorrow so don’t know where they work that out. We don’t have the squad of a lot of teams and we find ourselves in the strange situation where smaller PL clubs with less fanbase are now streets ahead of us thanks to PL money from last year. All the same we seem to have spirit and most importantly Rafa so who knows where we can end up. As with every PL season we’ve been in , I will be happy when we hit the 40 point mark.

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  6. georgio:
    Ice – that does seem disappointing but does it mean anything other than if Hazard was fit he wouldn’t be on the bench?

    Seems like the season’s started just like last season. Arsenal and Liverpool still can’t defend. Can we?

    Both were beyond shite defensively mate, seems really odd that two such big clubs can’t sort their defensive shit out tbh. Especially Arsenal who have been poor defensively for seasons now.

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  7. Luke Edwards‏Verified account @LukeEdwardsTele · 23h23 hours ago

     More

    Replying to @LukeEdwardsTele

    Ashley i/v is more of same tired old lines about not being able to compete with oil rich nations, completely avoids Benitez actual grievance

    25 replies . 61 retweets 124 likes

     Reply
    25

     Retweet
    61

    Like 124

    Luke Edwards‏Verified account @LukeEdwardsTele · 23h23 hours ago

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    Benitez never asked for £200m or even £100m. He knew money was tight, his grievance is there is far more of it than has been spent 1/2

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  8. lots of goals being scored this opening week end, brings home the fact that we desperately need that quality forward, not to mention a creative mid. Thankfully Ritchie, Perez and shelvey aren’t goal shy as we may well need them if Gayle misses many games and Mitro continues to misfire .

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  9. Dubai I have scheduled your article for 20:00 UK time. Olly, thanks for this thread. Great to have match threads back. Dubai tried to communicate with you guys, but I guess everyone is busy, so I have helped him out. Hope I’m not stepping on anybody’s toes. I don’t get involved in the ‘backroom’ much these days. I’m part of the old guard!

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  10. Brighton making a good go of it here. What with Huddersfield doing well v palace and Brighton holding their own v City, I hope we don’t embarrass ourselves tomorrow.

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  11. Shamrock:
    Dubai I have scheduled your article for 20:00 UK time. Olly, thanks for this thread. Great to have match threads back. Dubai tried to communicate with you guys, but I guess everyone is busy, so I have helped him out. Hope I’m not stepping on anybody’s toes. I don’t get involved in the ‘backroom’ much these days. I’m part of the old guard!

    Thanks a lot Shamrock. Appreciate it. Hope it’s also ok with the site admins…

      (Quote)

  12. Stuart79:
    Agree with them or not but he Soccer Saturday guys reckon we will be struggling unless we sign a striker. I’ve got to agree.

    I’ve seen some predictions that we will finish mid table but I really don’t see much evidence of that. Where are the goals?

    Stuart, mate. You don’t have to agree with those morons to see that we need a striker. It is as plain as the nose on Phil Thomson’s face.

      (Quote)

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