Sunday afternoon sees Tottenham travel to St James’ Park to face Newcastle. The home side are the talk of the town since the news of their takeover broke. Can Tottenham cap this weekend with another victory?
There’s an air of optimism these days at St. James’ Park, a statement which was impossible to make just a week ago. Amidst the chaos of changes in ownership, it is easy to forget that Newcastle are second-bottom in the Premier League. They are still to secure a victory with three draws, four losses and have grabbed just three points in their opening seven fixtures in the league. In their previous game, they were beaten by the Wolves, away. With the clock ticking on Steve Bruce’s future, Newcastle are in desperate need of a win.
Only time will tell if Steve Bruce has a future at the club, as unlikely as it might seem. For now, Newcastle will be looking to improve their record of remaining winless in their previous four home encounters against Spurs. They will be looking for some inspiration from their man in-form Allan Saint-Maximin. Despite his side’s struggles, Saint-Maximin has been in brilliant form for the Magpies. He has scored two goals and laid three assists in seven appearances this season in the Premier League. Steve Bruce’s side will be boosted by the return of goalkeeper Martin Dubravka. He hasn’t been involved in any games after featuring for Slovakia in the euros. Callum Wilson could also make his return.
Although Newcastle have struggled to find the back of the net this season, they fare a little better in terms of xG and xG per 90. They are placed in ninth in the league in terms of xG and tenth spot in terms of xG per 90. They are placed higher than many teams above them in the points tally. Their higher xG and lower number of goals indicate that despite creating quality goal-scoring opportunities, Newcastle are unable to convert them.
The Magpies are ranked fourth both in terms of successful dribbles in the league and successful dribbles per 90. Many of those successful dribbles can be attributed to Saint-Maximin.
Tottenham Hotspurs registered their much-needed win in the last match against Aston Villa. The Spurs had a bright start to their season, winning three back-to-back games but then slumped to three straight losses. Their worst defeat was arguably at the hand of their North London rivals, Arsenal. Tottenham are placed eighth in the league table, grabbing twelve points in seven games. They will be hoping to see their main strike partnership of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min shine. Kane has scored five of his six Premier League goals against Newcastle at St. James’ Park and he would be looking to get back to his scoring ways after the recent slump. Tottenham’s leaky defence has also been an issue in their previous losses as they conceded nine goals in those matches. Matt Doherty is the new injury addition for Spurs as he came off at halftime for Republic of Ireland midweek. Begwijn and Sessegnon and Davies will all remain unavailable for the clash against Tottenham.
Tottenham’s main striking pair of Son and Kane hasn’t been firing many goals this season. They are placed fifteenth in the league both in terms of goals and average goals. Their opponents in the next fixture are above them in both.
The Lilywhites are placed seventh in terms of successful defensive duels and successful defensive duels per 90. While they have fared a bit better in terms of their defensive duels, this also indicates that Spurs have been unable to dominate games and have to dig deep in order to secure victories.
Newcastle United ( 4-2-3-1) – Darlow; Manquilo, Fernandez, Clark, Ritchie; Longstaff, Hayden; Almiron; Saint-Maximin, Joelinton, Murphy.
Tottenham (4-2-3-1) – Lloris; Emerson, Romero, Dier, Regulion; Hojberg, Skipp; Lucas, Ndombele, Son; Kane.
This weekend Newcastle will play their first match under new owners. St. James’ Park will be optimistic with supporters more behind their team more than usual. Although, their recent form hasn’t inspired much confidence. Tottenham will go into the match as favourites.