This Sunday sees Newcastle travel to Spurs’ White Hart Lane hoping to repeat last week’s shock to steal a fourth win of the season.
However the chances of back to back results are extremely slim considering that Pochettino’s side have not lost a league game since their season opener against Manchester United, and there shouldn’t be any signs of a Europa League hangover — Tottenham were already through before Thursday’s fixture, allowing a number of key players to be rested as Spurs still defeated Monaco with ease (4-1).
Although they have conceded in five of their last six, the Tottenham defence is the second tightest in the league, allowing just 12 goals in over 15 games. By comparison, Newcastle leak an average of two goals per game, a feat only matched by fellow strugglers’ Sunderland.
We currently top the relegation zone on 13 points, only a win will grant us an escape by dragging us up to 14th or 15th, depending on goal difference. A draw will put us level on points with two two sides above us, Swansea and Norwich, but our inferior goal difference will keep us in the danger zone. A loss will only further damage our goal difference with no immediate impact on the table, although it would put Tottenham into fourth place.
“We need to follow (Liverpool) up at White Hart Lane. We need to put in a performance if we are to get anything. We have been reiterating what we did against Liverpool and what we need to do to give a good performance against Spurs. We had a terrible run of two games, so it’s important we get back to where we were at before the international break. The players were on form and the crowd were on form (against Liverpool) – we need to follow that up at Spurs.
“One of the key ingredients is that you have to out-run your opponent and put the effort in. It’s no coincidence that when you do that, the crowd get behind you and you get results.
“When you lack confidence it does stifle you, so it’s just about freeing that up. One of the unanswered questions in sport is why players can’t replicate their performance week after week. That’s what makes football so frustrating for the managers, coaches and especially the fans. It’s about finding that consistency week in, week out, and that’s what we’re looking to get now.”
– Steve McClaren
There are no new injury returns or concerns at the club, so the list of absentees again includes Rolando Aarons, Massadio Haïdara, Jamaal Lascelles, Tim Krul, Gabriel Obertan, Steven Taylor, Cheick Tioté, and Mike Williamson.
Tottenham have a trio of doubts, Eric Dier is nursing a foot injury, Moussa Dembélè is returning from illness, and Ryan Mason should be getting back to fitness from an ankle injury.
I don’t expect any changes from the side that started against Liverpool. They outworked Liverpool and got the points, so they’ll probably be given that chance again. McClaren has talked up how having Siem de Jong and Papiss Cissé on the pitch against Liverpool brought a lot of experience to the team, so it looks like fan favourites Ayoze and Mitrović will be missing out again.
We’ll take the lead early on, but ultimately Tottenham will be too much and/or we’ll shoot ourselves in the feet repeatedly, the hosts running out 3-1 winners.
Where to Watch / Listen
The match will be shown live on Sky Sports 1 with coverage starting from 15:30. Local radio commentary, as always, is on BBC Newcastle, with BBC Radio 5 Live covering the game nationally.
How do you think we’ll get on in this game? Have your say in our discussion thread.
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