Tottenham v Newcastle – Premier League match preview

Welcome to White Hart Lane
Well it took the two Demba’s less than 90 minutes to get in Toon in the new look Newcastle United forward line, which is just as well, because we need these two in top gear for this trip to White Hart Lane – arguably the toughest of our remaining fixtures.

Hopefully the stress and headache of his protracted Court case mixed in with the head turning, exciting prospect of becoming next England manager following Fabio Capello’s resignation will ensure Harry Redknapp has not prepared for us as well as he might normally do. On the other hand, this past week will more likely have strengthened his resolve and determination to get a positive result this weekend to thank his fans for all their support and encouragement.

Tottenham Hotspur:

Youngsters John Bostock (Sheffield Wednesday) and Thomas Carroll (Derby) join Vedran Corluka (Leverkusen) & former Toon defender Sebastian Bassong on loan. The unfavoured David Bentley is out until April with a knee injury. William Galls (calf), Jermaine Jenas (achilles) and Tom Huddlestone (ankle) are all on the long term sick list. Striker Jermaine Defoe (hamstring) is rated 50/50 whilst Younes Kaboul (knee), Aaron Lennon (hamstring) and Rafael Van Der Vaart (calf) all face late fitness tests. New signings Ryan Nelsen and Louis Saha may come into the fold.

Squad from: Friedel, Cudicini, Kaboul, Dawson, King, Walker, Assou-Ekotto, Nelsen, Khumalo, Bale, Lennon, Parker, Modric, Rose, Livermore, Sandro, Fredericks, Luongo, Van Der Vaart, Rose, Dos Santos, Kranjcar, Adebayor, Saha, Defoe, Lancaster.

Newcastle United:

Youngsters Haris Vukic (Cardiff City), and James Tavernier (MK Dons) are on loan. Alan Smith is also at MK Dons whilst he runs his contract down. Leon Best (knee) and Ryan Taylor (ankle) join Sylvain Marveaux (groin), Steven Taylor (achilles) and Sammy Ameobi (knee) on the long term treatment table. Cheik Tiote (C’ote D’Ivoire) will play his part in the final of the African Cup of Nations this weekend, whilst Frenchman Yohan Cabaye completes the last of a three match ban for violent conduct.

Squad from: Krul, Elliot, Ferguson, Santon, Williamson, Kadar, Coloccini, Simpson, Perch, Gosling, Guthrie, Abeid, Ben Arfa, Obertan, Gutierrez, Lovenkrands, Ba, Cisse, Shola Ameobi.

Shamrock’s Top 10 Really Interesting Stats And Facts:

1 – There have been 17 Tottenham V Newcastle Premier League fixtures. Of those, the Toon have won 6, losing 10. Yes, only 1 draw – in 1995!

2 – In terms of Major honours, Spurs have the edge on the Magpies having won 17 competitions to our 11.

3 – Emmanuel Adebayor (41) has been caught offside this season more than any other Premier League player.

4 – Luka Modric (1444) is the 5th most prolific passer in the league. The top five is shared by some familiar names – Danny Murphy, Mikel Arteta and Yaya Toure – however in 1st place by some considerable distance (1625) is Swansea’s Ashley Williams!

5 – Demba Ba (16) is still going strong as the league’s 2nd most prolific goalscorer ahead of the likes of Wayne Rooney and Sergio Aguero (both 15), although Arsenal’s Robin Van Persie (22) is running away with it.

6 – Onto betting – Spurs are hot favourites with odds of 4/9 compared to Newcastle’s 13/2. For a real tasty bet I have to go for a 2-2 draw with our very own Papiss Cisse to score 1st. This will fetch 100-1 with Paddy Power. Two sides that know how to score against each other makes this a really good punt.

7 – This week’s Birthday Boy is Tottenham’s Rafael Van Der Vaart, who turns 29 on the day this fixture takes place. If he’s fit, he may well be extra motivated to celebrate his birthday in style…

8 – Shola Ameobi is still looking for his 50th Career league goal for us, or his 2nd of this season.

9 – There have been more than a few players to have represented both Tottenham and Newcastle in the last 30 years. Some of which include: Jermaine Jenas, David Ginola, Les Ferdinand, Paul Gascoigne, Chris Waddle, Steven Carr, Ruel Fox, Kevin Scott, Jonathan Woodgate, Sebastian Bassong, Sol Campbell, Scott Parker and Louis Saha.

10- David Ginola loves Newcastle more than he loves Spurs. It’s a fact.

Tactical thoughts and ponderings:

Our lads are doing well this season. They are grinding out results and playing as a team. We might have a small squad, but they are all pulling in the same direction and players like Gabriel Obertan and James Perch have demonstrated over the last couple of matches that the never-say-die attitude reaches deep into the psyche of every player. Compare these boys to the expensive mercenaries of the Owen/Viduka years and we can be rest assured that regardless of the result in London tomorrow, our boys will be doing their best to make us fans proud.

On a personal basis I see this game as the toughest fixture we will face in the league this season, albeit not the most important one. There was a time when our respective clubs were on an even keel, however whilst we spent the last few seasons stepping backwards and then into the Championship – Tottenham have gone from strength to strength, winning the League Cup and enjoying Champions League football. Now they are one of the finest footballing sides in the league and currently sit 3rd, head and shoulders above London powerhouses Arsenal and Chelsea.

Generally Tottenham play a 4-4-1-1. Their back five is steady with Friedel, Assou-Ekotte, Dawson, King and Walker likely to start. It’s worth noting that although they are known for their attacking prowess and technical play these days, Spurs’ defence is equally as good. They have conceded only 25 goals – 6 less than us – whilst scoring 8 more than us. We cannot exactly blame our mini defensive crisis for the above gap though, as Tottenham’s Ledley King has weaker knees than Sven when he looks at Nancy Del’olio.

Young Kyle Walker is developing into a very reliable full back. He’s good in the tackle, got a bit of pace and decent in possession. To be honest, I can’t see our wingers getting much change out of their full backs. They are both pretty solid. We will have more joy in the middle. Dawson is prone to the odd suicidal mistake and should be put under constant pressure. I quite fancy Cisse to ghost him out of position, whilst Ba can go to work on Ledley King. King is top notch in just about every aspect of the defender’s game, his only weaknesses being the recurring injuries forcing him off early and a lack of pace.

Demba Ba is more of an all rounder than Cisse from the little I know about him so far, so he will be more suited to the battle that King will no doubt offer. We know Pardew likes a solid 4-4-2 shape and after Cisse’s excellent debut, we must surely expect him to start this game. We will need to have a good shape about us after all, if we are to avoid being pulled all over the place by Tottenham’s clinical midfield.

Scott Parker will be playing the Tiote role, Gareth Bale being joined on the wing by Niko Krancjar – who has forced his way into the 1st team reckoning recently. Aaron Lennon will probably be on the bench if fit, saved to cause us maximum damage late on in the game. We are talking about a hell of a lot of pace being thrown at our full backs and Krancjar has a fierce long range strike as well as superb crossing ability. Add to that Luka Modric’s uncanny ability to sow moves together seamlessly with top notch spacial awareness and passing ability probably only rivalled in recent times by Paul Scholes and what you get is a dangerous, well balanced midfield.

Looking at that, it’s hard to see how Newcastle can contain them. Guthrie is coming into his own in the Cabaye role, but he does not quite have the killer instinct or tenacity that takes our Frenchman up that extra level. James Perch has really stepped up into the anchorman role recently, but I feel we are really going to miss Tiote’s strength and power for this one. Frankly, we could be in for a pummelling if our midfield is not playing at it’s absolute best.

Our options are limited on the wings due to injuries, but we will need pace to track Gareth Bale and that means starts for Gutierrez as well as Obertan. I know Ben Arfa will want a start and some fans are calling out for him, however I think Big Dave has it spot on when he describes the lad as a ‘luxury player.’ Great to unlock defences, but this is not a game to carry passengers in midfield or defensively. Our boys have to be ready to get stuck in for the duration of the game and I can’t see Benny being tenacious defensively or disciplined enough in keeping possession to be more of a pro than a con… As a late sub though, he might just take the pressure off us when we are looking for an outlet.

Adebayor will be up front with either Van Der Vaart behind him, Defoe or Saha alongside him, or Modric playing higher with Jake Livermore playing centrally. We all know who our own back five is, so I’m not going to dwell on that. It’s clearly in midfield where this game will be decided.

I really would love it if we could get a result here, but that would largely rely on getting service up to Cisse and Ba. That could prove to be a bit too difficult for this one and there is no shame in it, so I’m going to say with a heavy heart that my prediction for this game is 3-1 to Spurs.


The man-in-the-middle for this one is 41-year-old Andre Marriner. He has been in the Select Group for six years and is from Birmingham. No senior International or European experience and no Cup Finals to his name, so very much still looking to build a reliable reputation for himself. He has taken charge 11 Newcastle games, of which we have won only three. Our last game under him was the 2-1 victory over Everton late last year.

A word from Alan Pardew:

We’ve got ourselves in a good position, we’ll see what we can do. We haven’t drawn or got beaten (recently). We can go there and give it a go. Who knows?”

“There’s no pressure (on us). We’ve set up Tottenham now. We haven’t done well in London. Maybe we’ll do something – we’ll see.”

Read what you want into that, but to me it means he expects a loss!

Date: Saturday 11th February
Kick-off: 17:30
Venue: White Hart Lane

Howay the lads!

About Shamrock

Like everyone here, support Newcastle United. Not the easiest side to feel good about at times, but it's our side!

45 thoughts on “Tottenham v Newcastle – Premier League match preview

  1. Great analysis as usual shamrock.

    The fact of the matter is, with Ba and Cisse playing together we will have a shot at every match. Those two have that bit of class that can get something completely against the run of play.

    Still, as good as Guthrie and Perch have been, I think tomorrow we will really miss Tiote and Cabaye.


  2. Is our PL record against Tottenham that bad? Blimey, I thought we tended to be decent against them 😕

    I thought Spurs scored a late equaliser against us last season? Or was it a winner? Can’t really remember now


  3. Ryan Taylor @TaylorR1984
    Weekemds just aren’t the same when the team travels an u head home. I’ll be cheerin the boys on from home. #ToonArmy


  4. well, for this one i am basing my logic that everything i thought would happen from the start of the season up to now has not happened at all. i also think we will get well beaten tomrw too.. so on that note.. i will go a 0-2 win the mags. 😀


  5. Newkie, at home we have 10 wins and 5 draws out of 18 against them. Away though, it’s a different story. They beat us 2-0 last season with ten men…


  6. If Spurts injuries dont clear up, a draw will be great result, even better if they do. Still hoping for a shock win, if we are at our very best.

    As always, great preview shamrock.


  7. Toon Chicken

    Thanks mate. Hopefully the 2 week break will be enough time for him to heal.

    Raylor or no Raylor I’d be really surprised if we get anything tomorrow. I think their pace will be too much for Colo and Williamson.


  8. Great preview Shamrock as always. Have a feeling we might just nick a point here you know.With BA and Cisse we are always in with a chance of a shock result .Got a feeling it might be another ugly one though .


  9. Adebayor is the fella we need to close out if poss if we want the result here im ganna say we nick the game by the odd goal meself 😆 2 v 1


  10. great read shamrock,think obertan must start tomorrow,done as he done a very good job against bale at ST JAMES,think we will sneak a draw 1-1


  11. Think we might nick a point – Bale and co looked knackered against the bindippers, could be a long season is catching up with them – Perch and Guthers need to be on top of thier game to stop Modric and Parker dominating midfield


  12. Good preview Shamrock, but I disagree with your score prediction.
    I been reading the t leaves and they tell me a shock win for the Lads tomorrow 😯
    Yes I am deluded :mrgreen:
    But its a funny old game.
    There is no pressure on us tomorrow and Spuds are red hot favs, so we have nowt to lose.
    0-2 with Ba to score got me 175/1 on paddy power.


  13. However BB I have to agree with sham – but a 2-1 loss with a dodgy decision going against us we are good at those. 😕


  14. Another great match preview Shamrock, hats off to ya fella.

    I have to agree with Wyart Lane, midfield will be key and I fear that Parker and Modric may be a little to good for Guthrie and Perch. They also have very attack minded full backs and can see Jonas and Obertan playing quite a defensive role.
    I think we need to try and double up on them to begin with and look to score on the break. Spurs are usually a high energy team and I think if we can match that who knows – we certainly have a front pairing with a goal in them.

    I think Merson predicting 4-0 spurs just goes to should how little he knows about football. No wonder the stupid alcoholic prick lost so much gambling


  15. Gary
    I just read your comments on.the last thread.
    Can’t believe your risk assessment of a player getting injured is worked out over ONE game… Lol

    Here are 14 games we need to get through. Almost half a season.

    Now name the players in our squad who havnt suffered from injury/suspension during that half a season. Colo, Williamson, Saylor, Raylor, Santon, Tiote, Cabaye, Obertan, Marveaux, Best etc etc…
    They’ve all been injured.

    Simspon is the only on in our backline who hasn’t.

    So in order to say we wouldn’t be “lucky” or fortunate for neither Colo or Williamson to not miss games it ridiculous. It’s just common sense, we are relying on a bit of luck to get us through unscathed. 😀

    We took a big risk, and are hoping for a big slice of luck!


  16. In my opinion this is the game that Jonas needs to be switched over to the right side of midfield. I feel comfortable that Santon can eat up Lennon, particularly with Colo playing as he normally does on that side of the defense and with instructions to perch to sit more towards the left side of our midfield. If Pards feels the same way I do, which is exceedingly unlikely, I think this could be the game that Ben Arfa gets the go ahead as he’s protected on the left side of our midfield by three very capable defenders.

    Won’t happen and I’m petrified Simmo, even with Obertan covering (who is nowhere near as good defensively as Jonas) is going to get eaten alive by Bale.


  17. Toon in Boston

    I disagree, I think we need to gt Obertan to mark Bale, he is the only one with then pace to match him.
    Thats how we defended in the last game, and we came out with a credible, draw. Could easily have won it.

    Think Spuds might just have us, but we always play well against the better teams. I’m more worried about Modric with Tiote missing than I am about Bale.


  18. JJ – Your wrong. You don’t listen, though. You could work the percentage out over a full season and it’d still be in our favour. For luck to come into it, something unexpected would take place. Simple.

    I’m done arguing with you anyway mate. It just falls on deaf ears with you and Pootle.


    Van der Vaart has been ruled out for tomorrow lads and lasses. Big plus!


  19. Dont rate van der vaart as much as everyone else. think defoe and adebayor will be more of a threat tbh


  20. JJ,

    I thought that we got a great result out of the game at home, but felt Bale was pretty influential for most of the game. Yes, Obertan has the pace to match Bale but he’s prone to the occasional lunge that leaves him out of position and struggling to get back. Jonas is more composed defensively for sure. Plus I would love to see HBA running down the left at Walker who is still a bit injured.

    I agree 100% that Modric frightens the daylights out of me, with or without Cheik in the middle.


  21. what a ****wit paul merson is, really, i mean, 4-0 the spuds!! ffs, where does this alchoholic **** get his vision from on that score… what is he basing his judgment on to say such a white wash score? Ok i think we prob will get beat but to just pull 4-0 out your arse is nothing short of just saying ‘ i hate nufc and i hope they get smashed’. well you ugly wino ****, i hope we win and make you look an ven bigger **** end than you already look.. prick.


  22. dunno gary, i think that JJ might be onto something mate. Seems logical that if the majority of our starting 11 have been out at some point in the first half of the season it seems quite possible to me that some of them will be out again in the second half of the season too does it not? I think that it is more likely that we will loose some of our players to injury than us loosing none at all tbh.


  23. Well spurs have a lot of injuries, and they looked knackered against the racists at Klanfield thre other night so you never know….

    Tough ask though. Really tough. Not expecting anything to be honest, although id say it’ll be closer than the 4-0 Methson is predicting.


  24. This games going to be a cracker. Cant wait to watch it.

    I dont care about stats anymore they mean nothing and im just looking forward to a good game against two cracking teams.


  25. @29

    Bale was one of their worst players in the reverse fixture are you sure you watched the game. Even at Liverpool Kelly and Skyrtel owned him, I think he got one decent chance and thats it


  26. Craig – I’ve never said there isn’t a chance of injury. I’ve simply stated that the odds are in our favour that they won’t. Therefore it isn’t ‘lucky’ if we don’t seem either Williamson or Colo sidelined. However, it is ‘unlucky’ if they are.

    You’re free to believe whichever logic you want, though.

    Anyway, like I said, I’m done with that debate as it is useless. Shamrock has spent his time writing a very good blog here and I believe it would be rude of us to divert back to conversations from a previous thread.


  27. Guys Off topic but do any of you know what this film is called. The one where two geordie lads steal alan shearers car?


  28. I would entertain Spurs with this team 😀




    Ben Arfa=========Guthrie=========Obertan



  29. JJ you’re spot on in what you said earlier.
    Gary just wants to say that everything that happens in our favour is down to skill and good judgement, and everthing bad that happens is simply bad luck.

    It’s quite funny really.


  30. ” For luck to come into it, something unexpected would take place. Simple”

    Yes. I think you might be.
    Being lucky does not necessarily have anything to do with how unexpected the result is.
    Being lucky is simply a way of describing the result of something that relies on chance and cannot be fully controlled turning out in a way that can be considered advantageous.
    I really don’t understand how you keep getting confused.


  31. going to be a hard game the morra, plenty of hard work is going to be needed, and i can see the Toon picking up a nice awaywin 1-2 😉
    i think the fans and players of spurs will just be glad “arry” didnt get sent down this week, and may well just take their eye’s off the ball tommorow 😆 p.s. C’MON ARSENAL 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆


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