Tactical Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Newcastle United

Sitting on 13 points, Newcastle United are below the red line. While a 2-0 win at home to Liverpool last weekend may have given the Magpies a bit of hope, we should keep in mind that the same team lost 5-1 at Crystal Palace the week prior. It’s been a rough go for Steve McClaren’s side and Spurs have a fantastic chance to take three points on Sunday.

Defense has been a problem for the Magpies, who have conceded a league leading 30 goals this season, an average of 2 goals conceded per match. By comparison, Spurs’ generally solid defense has only conceded 12 times, an average of .8 goals conceded per match. The Magpies have also allowed more shots than any other Premier League side (16.5 per match). 

It hasn’t helped McClaren that his first choice goalkeeper, Tim Krul, is out for the season after injuring his knee playing for Holland back in October. Krul has been replaced by Rob Elliot. In the center of defense are Fabricio Coloccini and Chancel Mbemba. 

The fullbacks are left back, Paul Dummett, and right back, Daryl Janmaat. Janmaat has produced a fair bit offensively, scoring once, assisting twice, and averaging 3.6 crosses per 90.

Former Sunderland man, Jack Colback, will line up next to Vurnon Anita in the first band of the Magpies’ midfield. These two will be key distribution centers for Newcastle, with Colback maintaining a solid 86.9% pass completion rate. 

Despite a subpar season, there has been a bright spot for Newcastle in new signing, Georginio Wijnaldum, who came to St. James’ Park over the summer from PSV. The Dutch attacking midfielder has lived up to his billing, scoring seven times and assisting twice in 15 appearances. 

Wijnaldum will likely start on the left side of the attacking midfield, accompanied by central attacking midfielder and fellow Dutchman, Siem de Jong. On the right side, expect to see Moussa Sissoko. Sissoko leads the Club in both chances created per 90 (2.7) and assists (5). All considered, the wings are where Newcastle is the most dangerous, and Walker and Rose will have plenty to do.

Up top for Newcastle, we’ll likely see either Papiss Cissé or Ayoze Pérez. This season, Pérez has contributed three goals and two assists, while Cissé has scored twice. 

Spurs come out of a 4-1 Europa League win over Monaco on Thursday with mixed feelings. An Erik Lamela hat-trick could be a sign that the Argentine is beginning to realize some serious potential. But an injury to Eric Dier that saw him replaced before the half is worrying. While Dier still seems likely to be available Sunday, Nabil Bentaleb has returned from injury and could step in if necessary. Moussa Dembélé was not available on Thursday through illness and it is unknown what his condition will be come Sunday. Nacer Chadli returned from injury to come on as a substitute on Thursday and should be available against Newcastle.

While the Magpies’ result against Liverpool may be a turning point in Newcastle’s season, Spurs are still favored to extend the unbeaten run and come away with all three points. The Spurs Projected Goal Difference is +.54 in favor of the Lilywhites.

Enjoyed this article? Hit the heart below!