At last the new premier league season is upon us. Amongst the new faces to appear this season, the opener for Spurs is a familiar one in the form of Newcastle. Historically Tottenham’s record against them is poor, winning just 14 out of the 44 premier league games played since its inception. That form has been carried into the present with Spurs winning just 2 out of the last 6 premier league games against Newcastle, with 4 defeats, including that infamous 5-1 thrashing on the final day of the 2015/2016 season. Tottenham have also only won 1 of their last 7 premier league games in August in the last 2 seasons... nothing like a bit of new season optimism!
It’s been somewhat of a turbulent summer for both clubs, with managers Mauricio Pochettino & Rafa Benitez both voicing their concerns over lack of transfer activity. Behind the scenes, interference at both clubs could unsettle them just as the new campaign gets underway.
Newcastle have been by far the busier of the 2 clubs, bringing in Jacob Murphy from Norwich (£10Million), Florian Lejeune from Eibar (£9Million), Christian Atsu from Chelsea (£6Million) & Javier Manquillo from Atletico Madrid (£4.5Million). The only notable departure from the club was Florian Thauvin to Marseille (£9Million).
Spurs, on the other hand, have been quiet… too quiet. The only transfer activity has been in the form of shipping players out. Kyle walkers £50 Million deal to Man city filled up the back pages, but some of the other transfers have gone under the radar. Clinton N’Jie, Federico Fazio & Nabil Bentaleb all departed this summer, whilst young starlet Josh Onomah went on loan to Aston Villa.
Team news ahead of the fixture isn’t pretty viewing, especially for Tottenham fans. Erik Lamela, Danny Rose, Victor Wanyama, Heung-Min Son & Kieran Trippier are all out, which leaves their squad thin for now. This, however, will potentially give an opportunity to some of the youngsters. Kyle Walker-Peters has impressed during the pre-season at RB and may well make his debut. For Newcastle, Dwight Gayle is a doubt with a Hamstring injury and will have a late fitness test to determine whether he plays & Ex-Spurs man DeAndre Yedlin will miss the game as he also recovers from a Hamstring injury.
On a positive note, Harry Kane's next goal will he his 100th for the club in all competitions and I'm expecting him to be raring to go on Sunday.
Here’s how I expect Newcastle to line-up on Sunday:
Tottenham on the other hand, could line-up in several different ways due to their injuries:
Come Sunday St. James Park will be rocking and I expect Newcastle to come out early with intensity and a real desire to perform on their return to the top flight, however even with the injuries and lack of signings, I expect Tottenham to win, but it certainly won’t be easy... but then again, we’re Tottenham Hotspur, we’ve been doing things the hard way since 1882.
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