What a week it’s been. The past three or four days have just summed up the black and white nature of life as a Newcastle United supporter.
My last preview – which looked ahead to our home clash with City – saw me struggling for positives and fearing a hammering, yet a few days later and not only did we come from behind to beat the champions, we smashed our 14-year old club transfer record after signing Almiron – Rafa’s ‘top target’ by all accounts.
Almiron won’t be available for this one, but the combination of a massive midweek win and the deadline day arrivals of both he and Barreca send us to Wembley with the wind well and truly in our sails.
The fact Spurs are set to be without both Kane AND Alli is another real boost to our chances, with their lack of spending and poor recent results meaning just 29,000 turned up to watch them at Wembley in midweek..
With Diame, Shelvey, Dummett and Ki all ‘close’ to returning but set to miss out again and Almiron unable to play as he finalises a work permit, I can’t see us making any changes from the above side that beat Man City – and rightly so!
Barreca is ‘available’ but hasn’t trained fully. Either way, there’s no way Rafa will rush him in.
Predicted NUFC XI – (5-4–1) – Dubravka– Yedlin, Schar, Lascelles, Lejeune, Ritchie – Perez, Longstaff, Hayden, Atsu – Rondon.
With Kane & Alli both out, here’s some ‘ones to watch’ in the Spurs side:
Christian Eriksen – With Kane and Alli out, the emphasis is firmly placed on him to perform. Keep him quiet and we could stop the service up to Son.
Son Heung-min: The South Korean is devastating and one of the most underrated players in the Premier League for me. He is direct and needs no invitation to shoot.
Moussa Sissoko: He’s actually been MUCH better for Spurs of late. He’s obviously still very limited in the final third, but his power, energy and marauding runs could be difficult to handle without Mo Diame.
Predicted Tottenham XI – (3-5-2) – Lloris – Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen – Aurier, Sissoko, Winks, Eriksen, Rose – Son, Llorente.
Shelvey, Diame, Ki and Dummett have all been ruled out once again by Rafa, although it sounds like all four are close to returning – with Rafa tipping them to be back for Wolves a week on Monday.
Joselu could return to the squad after recovering from an ankle problem.
For Spura, Son is back from the Asian Cup (unfortunately for us!), but Kane and Alli are BOTH out injured.
Spurs have lost 3 of their last 4 and we’re pretty uninspiring in their 2-1 win over Watford a few days ago by all accounts.
I think we’ll make a game of it and wouldn’t be surprised if we scraped a draw, however I fear the return of Son could give them the edge in this one.
Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 Newcastle
Howay the lads!