Tottenham (A): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

 It’s not quite how we planned our big trip to Wembley, but tonight sees us travel to the capital to take on a Spurs side fighting to keep a hold of their spot in the top four.
 
They’re under pressure and could see their Champions League hopes crash and burn if we pull off a surprise result, however it’s going to take a vastly improved performance if we’re to come away with anything.
 
We were half asleep during the first-half of Saturday’s defeat at Watford and although we woke up in the second half and very nearly nicked a point, it was another display that suggested we have one eye on our summer holiday’s after our safety’s been secured.
 
That being said, we still have a job to do in the final two games. Three defeats on the bounce has put our place in the top 10 under serious threat, so with Palace, Bournemouth and Watford all breathing down our neck, I’m hoping we give it a proper go tonight.
 
Staying up was the aim, so our season will be seen as a success even if we go on to lose our final two fixtures – although we are in danger of allowing it to totally fizzle out if we fail to turn up once again.

Preferred XI

Rafa made changes over the weekend, but there were a few who failed to grasp their big chance, so I can see us returning to our tried and trusted side for this one.

I can’t see it happening, but here’s the side I’d like to see Rafa try out tonight:

Murphy and Manquillo were poor on Saturday so I see Ritchie and Yedlin returning. Merino looked bright when he came on so I’d like to see him start, however it’d be a risk to break up the strong partnership Shelvey and Diame have formed in a tough game like this. 
 
With that in mind, I’d take Gayle out (a player offering next to nothing at the minute), push Perez up top (he looks great in front of goal but poor as a ‘creative force’) and slot Merino in just ahead of Shelvey and Diame. 
Predicted NUFC XI – (4-2-3-1) – Dubravka– Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett – Diame, Shelvey – Ritchie, Perez, Kenedy –  Gayle.

The Opposition

Aside from the obvious (Kane, Eriksen, Alli, Son), here’s a few players I’ll have my eye on tomorrow:

Davinson Sanchez – An outstanding athlete and highly impressive centre-back on his day, but he’s quite erratic when put under pressure. Capable of making a big mistake if he’s put under enough pressure (you know what to do Ritchie, Gayle, Diame, Perez..)

Huge Lloris – Has been criticised by several Spurs fans recently after a few too many errors. Testing him early doors could be a wise move to make the Wembley crowd even more tense.



Moussa Sissoko – He could start given midfield options Dembele, Dier and Winks have all been ruled out. We know what he’s like. Limit his space on the ball and he’ll struggle to do much more than make 5-yard passes.

Predicted Spurs XI – (3-4-2-1) – Lloris – Sanchez, Alderweireld, Vertonghen – Trippier, Wanyama, Eriksen, Davies – Alli, Son – Kane.

For an inside look into tonight’s opponents, take a look at the latest edition of the ‘Opposition Opinion’. Another good insight into this weekend’s opponents.

 

Form

Newcastle – 10th (41 pts) – Last 5 in the league – Won: 2 / Drawn: 0 / Lost: 3

Tottenham – 4th (71 pts) – Last 5 in the league – Won: 2 / Drawn: 1 / Lost: 2

 

Team news

Atsu and Clark have been ruled out of this one once again, with the former set to miss the final two games of the season. Slimani has returned to Leicester after being handed a three-game ban, so he won’t be in the squad.

Eric Dier is suffering from illness and will miss out, but Jan Vertonghen is available despite coming off injured late on during Saturday’s late defeat at West Brom.

Midfield maestro Mousa Dembele is out, as is right-back Serge Aurier and midfielder Harry Winks. (Via BBC)

Match Prediction

Unfortunately, it feels like we’ve switched off for the season. Securing a top 10 finish and pulling off a shock win at Wembley are our two main motivators tonight, but Tottenham’s urge to secure Champions League football could trump that in this one.

I think we’ll be a little more switched on than we were on Saturday (we’ll have to be!), but I see Spurs having too much for this in this one – especially when they’ll be out to avenge their late defeat to West Brom at the weekend.

I fancy us to score and aim to unsettle them from the off, but the gulf in class in the final third makes me believe they’ll comfortably outscore us.

Prediction: Spurs 3-1 Newcastle

Howay the lads!

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [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.

61 thoughts on “Tottenham (A): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

  1. Are we playing Barcelona tomorrow? Maybe a combined all time world 11 with Gerd Muller, fat and thin Ronaldos and Messi as a front 4.

    Why?

    Coz I checked the odds on NUFC.com and we are:

    16/1 win
    6/1 draw
    2/11 loss

    Spurs are a good team but they did just lose to West Brom FFS.

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  2. So, this is who the bookies think we are up against today:

    Gerd Muller

    Ronaldo Pele Ronaldo (fat)

    Cruyff Messi

    Marcelo Moore Beckenbauer Lahm

    Neure

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  3. 16 to 1 seems way off. 6 to 1 maybe?

    I don’t bet so maybe somebody who does can enlighten me.

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  4. Keown also wrote articles before the Euros that Wazza was world class and England’s best player and also said he was fundamental to Man U before he was let go. I think he also said that Wayne walked on water, invented the wheel and helped Beethoven out with his 9th symphony.

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  5. 16/1 in a 2 horse race is an insult. I’ll be having money on us. Spurs have a couple of problems in midfield too. They’re not having a great run either.

    Next two games have a big influence on top four. I think this is the only way we’ll have involvement on top four issues…

    Eric, I can’t see Huddersfield getting anything tonight. I see Swansea bearing Stoke so it’s all down to Arsenal and Huddersfield. Arsenal haven’t won away all year but it’s Wengers last game so maybe they’ll be up for it. I think Huddersfield are deep in the shit…

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  6. So Rafa reckons we need to break our record to sign a decent striker. Who knew!!! Well, apart from Jabba!

    I think this shows it’s not just about money for Rafa. It’s about ambition, intent and acting like a football club. Jabba will struggle.

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  7. Stuart79:
    16/1 in a 2 horse race is an insult. I’ll be having money on us. Spurs have a couple of problems in midfield too. They’re not having a great run either.

    Next two games have a big influence on top four. I think this is the only way we’ll have involvement on top four issues…

    Eric, I can’t see Huddersfield getting anything tonight. I see Swansea bearing Stoke so it’s all down to Arsenal and Huddersfield. Arsenal haven’t won away all year but it’s Wengers last game so maybe they’ll be up for it. I think Huddersfield are deep in the shit…

    Stuart: if Hudders go down on goal difference it will give an even bigger stick to beat Neville and Carra with when they were saying we were a disgrace to set up defensively against an City.

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  8. Its a tough one Stuart. You have to assume a Swansea win and 2 losses for Huddersfield. But you called it a long way out so I won’t argue.

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  9. By the way. Guess who Phil (the idiot brother) Neville predicted to be relegated? All 3 promoted teams. Not only did he predict it but he mentioned it during the City/Huddersfield game.

    Just a quick note Phil. If you are totally wrong on something that you are supposed to know something about, best not broadcast it to millions of people.

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  10. I don’t mean to go on a rant here, but that is insanity.

    I would say we are about 6-1 to beat Spurs and 100-1 to win the WC. I would say we are about evens to get out of the easiest group after the easiest qualifiers.

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  11. Just listening to George Caulkin and he says the club have said to Rafa that if he doesn’t sign a new contract we would struggle to sign new players… Great Podcast from true Faith by the way. Brilliant insight.

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  12. I am not saying NUFC will beat Spurs. But…

    If you gave me a pound and said which bet I would take? England to win the WC at 16-1 or NUFC to beat Spurs at 16-1?

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  13. Stuart79:
    Just listening to George Caulkin and he says the club have said to Rafa that if he doesn’t sign a new contract we would struggle to sign new players… Great Podcast from true Faith by the way. Brilliant insight.

    What! You forgot to say “respected journalist”.

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  14. Eric Sykes:
    I am not saying NUFC will beat Spurs. But…

    If you gave me a pound and said which bet I would take? England to win the WC at 16-1 or NUFC to beat Spurs at 16-1?

    Post a link and I will give it a listen.

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  15. Stuart79:
    Just listening to George Caulkin and he says the club have said to Rafa that if he doesn’t sign a new contract we would struggle to sign new players… Great Podcast from true Faith by the way. Brilliant insight.

    Post a link and I will give it a listen.

    Replied to myself. Is that the definition of insanity?

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  16. Interesting journalists claims lately linking us with a defender from the leakiest defence in the league, Dawson, and I really can’t be bothered today Shaqiri from the bottom club. It’ll be bringing back Sissoko next or Torres. We’re in for a summer of this twaddle.

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  17. Stuart79:
    Just listening to George Caulkin and he says the club have said to Rafa that if he doesn’t sign a new contract we would struggle to sign new players… Great Podcast from true Faith by the way. Brilliant insight.

    Stu – to be fair they are probably right. He’s the biggest draw for any decent player signing for NUFC – and if they don’t know if he’s going to be there beyond next summer they may be put off.
    But then that means it’s down to them to do whatever’s needed to get Rafa to sign – it’s not Rafas problem, he’ll only be there one season 🤷🏼‍♂️

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  18. Nice try by jabba putting our ability to sign decent players on Rafa signing like.
    So give Rafa a reason to sign then mike. Not getting the decent players is the least of jabbas problems if Rafa fails to sign or walks away, the clubs value will lose millions without a world class manager at the helm, I suspect that’s what’s really bothering the fat ****. Since when has signing quality players bothered him anyway, cheap profit earners are his way.

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  19. Here’s an idea Mike, sell up, then RAFA signs for new owners and we get decent players, simples.

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  20. kimtoon:
    Oh, and we are gonna lose tonight.

    Kimtoon: I wasn’t saying we are unlikely to lose, I was saying the odds are off.

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  21. It seems like Rafa is taking the game seriously as is Poch because he is playing Sir Harry Kane.

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  22. Huddersfield might yet be saved by Arsenal’s complete and utter pathetic away form…

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  23. He picks up useless paper and puts it in his pocket
    I’m trying hard to keep my fingers clean
    I can’t remember tell me what’s his name

    MY NAME IS (SIR) HARRY KANE

    And all I wanted was a word or photograph to keep at home

    And all I wanted was a word a photograph to keep.

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  24. I am watching him now. Anthony Mason. He looks like he is off on a Sunday afternoon stroll with Jack Wilshere and Wayne Rooney.

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  25. We do though, Kim. It’s what pisses me right off! With a decent striker and better support we’d be top 7 this season.

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  26. Stuart79:
    We do though, Kim. It’s what pisses me right off! With a decent striker and better support we’d be top 7 this season.

    Rafa keeps telling jabba the same think,does he listen NO

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  27. Jabba will be watching this and thinking why does Rafa need better players, we’ve stayed up and are playing well against Spurs!

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  28. We’ve been unbeaten at the new Wembley for a while so it had to come to a end sometime…

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  29. So pissed off, trying to get onto the club sit3 to listen to th3 match and they have changed log in… need to register again… they didn’t send an email to verify so cannot log in… trine a million (almost) times to resend email to verify… nothing.. the site is as fucking useless as our team. Stuck in hotel room in Italy with no way to watch or listen, only sky sports super slow newsfeed. And Kane scored… 😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😳😡😡😡😡😡

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  30. Great stuff from Huddersfield. Really amazing considering their final three fixtures. Great that all promoted teams are staying up.

    Would be a warning to most normal owners…

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  31. Dubai Toon:
    So pissed off, trying to get onto the club sit3 to listen to th3 match and they have changed log in… need to register again…they didn’t send an email to verify so cannot log in… trine a million (almost) times to resend email to verify… nothing.. the site is as fucking useless as our team. Stuck in hotel room in Italy with no way to watch or listen, only sky sports super slow newsfeed. And Kane scored…

    https://www.nufc.co.uk/nufc-tv/live/live-audio

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  32. Stuart79:
    Great stuff from Huddersfield. Really amazing considering their final three fixtures. Great that all promoted teams are staying up.

    Would be a warning to most normal owners…

    Has this ever happened, all 3 promoted teams staying up ? anyone know.

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  33. Hi Kim, thanks that’s what I tried to use, but it says I have to re register… not much point now though I guess missed it all.

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  34. kimtoon: Has this ever happened, all 3 promoted teams staying up ? anyone know.

    Only 3rd time in PL history that three promoted sides all stayed up 2001-02 (Blackburn, Fulham, Bolton) & 2011-12 (Swansea, Norwich, QPR)

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  35. Dubai Toon: Only 3rd time in PL history that three promoted sides all stayed up 2001-02 (Blackburn, Fulham, Bolton) & 2011-12 (Swansea, Norwich, QPR)

    Cheers mate, knew it couldn’t of been that often. good effort by all then .

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  36. Same old same old story all season – 14 attempts and only 3 on target.

    I know it’s only paper talk linking us with defenders, but if Rafa doesn’t clear the decks of our forwards and get a new set of forwards in, it will be another long hard season next season I reckon.

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  37. Sharpy – I think, considering Rafa’s efforts (wasted) in January that attacking players are a priority. We need a striker, no 10, winger and a defender.

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  38. Stuart79:
    Sharpy – I think, considering Rafa’s efforts (wasted) in January that attacking players are a priority. We need a striker, no 10, winger and a defender.

    Stu – we need at least 2 strikers and the rest of the players you mention there mate.
    I have no great concerns with Clark or Mbemba as back up CBs but major concerns with Manquillo as a back up full back .

    But CFs – Gayle isn’t good enough, Joselu was a waste of a fax never mind the £5m or whatever he was, and Mitrovic isn’t wanted by Rafa. So for me, that should be 3 out and ideally 3 in – but at least 2.

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