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

Does anyone else just want this season to end?

It’s fizzling out without much of a fight if our last few games are anything to go by, with a decision on a potential Saudi takeover feeling like the only thing that really matters now.

The surrender at Man City was awful and second half collapse at Watford another sign that our players may have swapped their football boots for flip flops.

We shouldn’t be on the beach already, even if a top 10 finish is out of reach and safety confirmed, but it feels like we are now a club in limbo both on and off the pitch.

Nevertheless, here we face a Spurs side who are very beatable. Not only has an uninspiring Mourinho never won at St James’ Park, his Tottenham side have won just 3 of 17 away games so far this season.

Predicted XI

(4-2-3-1): Dubravka – Krafth, Schar, Fernandez, Manquillo – Bentaleb, Shelvey – Saint-Maximin, Almiron, Joelinton – Gayle.

Dubravka will go again in goal, and will be the only Newcastle player who’s started every league game all season if he’s named in Bruce’s XI in our final three games.

Lascelles looks set to miss out after limping off at Watford, and he could be badly missed. He might’ve struggled in our last home game against the Hammers, but he was by far our best defender at Watford and helped us look much more assured defensively before a string of costly mistakes let them back in it. With him out and Lejeune and Clark not yet ready to return, Bruce may reluctantly start Schar in a four-man defence alongside Fernandez – another player who’ll need to up his game after two rare off days in a row.

Krafth will come back in at right-back I’d imagine, with Manquillo surely set to move over to left-back now Rose is ineligible against his parent club. Yedlin is an option, but Krafth seems to be ahead of the American in the pecking order and deserves a recall after decent displays when he’s started recently.

Hayden and Sean Longstaff have been ruled out once again, so it seems Bentaleb and Shelvey could well start in midfield – especially when Schar will have to move to centre-back now Lascelles is injured.

Matty Longstaff could be an option, but Bruce hasn’t started him in the Premier League since January and questioned his commitment during Tuesday’s presser, so it doesn’t seem like he’s about to come back into the side!

If it’s Bentaleb who gets the nod alongside Shelvey, he’ll have to be much better against his former club if he has any chance of earning a permanent deal. He looked slick and strong against Bournemouth and West Ham, but was a complete liability against City and was rightfully dropped against Watford as a result.

In attack, Saint-Maximin needs to be looked after given how much he faded in that second half at Watford, but the fact he and Almiron were spotted full of smiles in training this week suggests they’ll both be fine for Spurs.

The other spot in the trio behind the lone striker is surely between Ritchie, Joelinton and Lazaro. The latter has impressed in patches, however it seems so clear that the Inter Milan loanee isn’t in Bruce’s plans. As for the others, Ritchie gave away the penalty at Watford and didn’t offer enough, so I can see Joelinton playing out wide once again after he was rested over the weekend – especially when this is the side he scored his first goal against back in August last year!

Up top, Gayle has earned himself another start. He’s now bagged 3 goals and 1 assist since lockdown and will surely be given another chance to prove himself.

The Opposition

Here’s a few of the ‘ones to watch’ in Jose Mourinho’s Spurs side:

Son Heung-min – The South Korean will be a real handful for Krafth and will look to cut in and run at Fabian Schar when he gets a chance too. A devastating finisher who could be their biggest threat if we give him too much room.

Harry Kane – Has had a difficult season, with injuries and a dip in form under Mourinho’s arrival limiting him to just 13 goals so far. He’s not scored in his last three so will be desperate to find the net here to boost Spurs’ chances of European qualification.

Steven Bergwijn – Manquillo has been a reliable option this season, but he’s struggled in his last two appearances when forced to fill in for Danny Rose at left-back, with Bowen giving him a tough afternoon in the 2-2 draw with West Ham and him pulling down Sarr at Watford over the weekend. He’ll have to be much better here if the quick, direct and dangerous former PSV star starts down Spurs’ right-hand side.

Team news

Jamaal Lascelles is set to miss out after limping off at Watford and missing training this week.

Danny Rose is ineligible against his parent club, with Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden ruled out with hamstring injuries.

The game will come too soon Florian Lejeune and Andy Carroll, while Ciaran Clark has been ruled out for the season.

For Spurs, Dele Alli looks set to miss out once again, while Eric Dier is also suspended.

Prediction

I thought we’d react to the drubbing at Man City with a win at Watford. We looked on course at half-time but totally threw it away in the second half and had no response to the costly mistakes, via a combination of Bruce’s awful subs and a lack of energy / ideas on the field.

If we are at it, motivated and have ASM and Almiron at their best then anything could happen, but the fact we’ll be without Lascelles at the back and forced to start a seemingly uninterested Schar in a four-man defence doesn’t fill me with confidence.

Hoping for a response and reaction to recent collapses on the road, but fearing a third straight defeat!

Prediction: Newcastle 1-2 Spurs

HWTL!

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

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

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

  1. I reckon a maximum of 1 point from the last 3 games. This would match my prediction of 5 points from the games after Sheffield. Would not be surprised if we get zero points which would mean ending the season with 5 straight losses.

    Not wishing this on us, just saying it looks sorta likely and would shut the Bruce cheerleaders in the media up. Perhaps not 🙂 They have already made up their minds that he has done a great job despite the awful football and more luck than if he had a 4 leaf clover, a leprechaun and all 4 rabbits feet in his pocket.

    Sorry to repeat myself, but it is a new thread.

    I dont think Bruce will start BOTH Miggy and St Max. I reckon he will see Brighton as his best chance for more points to finish on a high and then Liverpool is a free hit. But then again both recent games against Man City were free hits and look how he set up there.

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  2. Surely Brucie has to rest one of Miggy and St Max who looked spent against Watford? He also should look at Lazaro for a whole game to see if he really is PL standard?

    The Spurs defense is shaky but so is ours:

    Krafth – had a couple of decent games recently but largely written off by fanbase
    Schar – dropoff in form
    Fernadez – good season, but a bit of a mare against Watford
    Manqillo – playing on his weaker side

    Probably 1-3 or 2-3 as they have better attackers.

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  3. My guess at the team:

    Dubravka

    Krafth Schar Fernadez Manquillo

    Bentaleb Shelvey

    Lazaro Miggy Ritchie

    Gayle

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  4. I dont think it is fair to call out Bruce for the first Watford penalty. It WAS soft. I have seen a lot of football recently and there have been many challenges like that that were not given. In fact, I would say the only one I have seen given was against NUFC. VAR will not overturn it because there is something there and there has to be an obvious Ref error but 19 times out of 20 it is not given.

    Say what you will about Bruce, but he was right on that one. Manquillo’s was a penalty.

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  5. OK, on Lazaro, there is supposedly a 20 million buyout clause. Why would we pay that? Why wouldn’t we let that expire and then offer them a lower number if we wanted him? In the light of everybody being skint after CV-19 there would be no competition for his signature and Inter would want his wages off the books. Offer 10 mil and I bet we’d get him. Assuming we wanted him.

    So, give the lad a full game against Spurs and Brighton and see what he has (or doesnt have).

    Joelinton could definitely do with a rest so pick Lazaro ahead of him. There is nothing new to learn about Ritchie either.

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  6. Something I have noticed over the years is that Newcastle rarely complete the double when they have won the first leg away from home.However, Jose has an awful record at SJP. Perhaps a draw.

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  7. kimtoon:
    Think this blog has died, only a takeover can save it now or possibly a repair ?

    Kimtoon: there is no alternative. 10 minutes on Ed;s and you will want to shoot yourself.

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  8. Yedlin AND Krafth. That was a surprise.

    The forwards were a bit of a crapshoot but even though I didnt name Joe in my team I half expected Bruce to pick him anyway.

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  9. Transfer window open on 27th July for 12 weeks yet we still don’t know who our owner will be. How is that fair on the club? The PL are now acting against the interests of one of their members.

    As for tonight it will be a bore draw.

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  10. Eric Sykes: Kimtoon: there is no alternative. 10 minutes on Ed;s and you will want to shoot yourself.

    Very true, had a peak the other day and they were ganging up on some guy called kevin who at one point they were convinced was Tony Baloney (you ). They really are a strange lot on there, though some of them seem ok. Ed won’t get many newbies posting when readers see the level of bullying on there that’s for sure. I get the impression if your not a geordie and fully up to date with all the clubs history your not a proper fan.
    I f you applied that logic to Manure and City, there would be approximately 5 fans in the stadium 😉

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  11. 3 or 4 old fa rts on there talking about the 70’s and the fights on the terraces and how they’d sort out the southern softie Kevin zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    It’s actually quite entertaining in a sadistic kinda way 😆

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  12. I’ve actually managed 3 posts without having to re do my details !
    Feels like a major achievement in my day.

    Anyway teams out, bit worried to be honest our win rate without Lascelles is not good. It’s something like 1.75 without and 2.5 with or something.
    Let’s hope Maxi has a blinder, sissoko v Bentelab fills me with dread though.

    Anyway HWTL

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  13. Not sure if everybody has BT in UK but I have watched it here. Was pretty even. Son goal through Yedlin’s legs and Gayle hit the post. Shelvey missed a free header.

    Some would probably say that Spurs haven’t got out of second gear but that would be a bit unfair. If you have watched this iteration of Mourinho he doesn’t really push on like he did in his Chelsea days.

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  14. We were slightly unlucky, but Joelinton!!! May as well have kept Donkeylu and the 40 mil.

    Should also be Yedlin’s last game.

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  15. Agree re joe Eric, he seems a nice lad but just not up to it sadly. Could he be better under a different manager, doubt it.

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