Tottenham hope to go above Manchester City as they face Newcastle United who look to make two big scalps in one week after beating the champions in midweek.
Mauricio Pochettino would have been a relieved man after his side notched a late winner against Watford in the midweek after going a goal down to the Hornets. Fernando Llorente crucially scored the winner after missing a host of chances against Watford, after the returning Heung-min Son had scored the equalizer. Pochettino will be looking to keep the momentum going with yet another win.
Three points against Newcastle will take them a point above Manchester City in second, as the champions play Arsenal at home on Sunday. A win would certainly add pressure on City, although they could also come into the mix again to challenging Liverpool who are starting to show some stuttering signs up top.
Newcastle United, on the other hand, will be high on confidence having beaten Manchester City. After briefly flirting around the relegation zone, the win over City has given Rafael Benitez’s men some much-needed room as they now sit in the 14th place, five points clear of the danger zone. Newcastle, like Tottenham, will be looking to make it three consecutive wins in the Premier League.
Benitez especially will be looking to get a result against Tottenham as after this game will have only two games against big six opposition. Additionally, Newcastle haven’t won back to back games against Big Six opposition since December 2015, and that could be an added incentive to get something out of this game, while a win could have a big impact on the Premier League title race.
Team News & Tactics
After a difficult few weeks, where Tottenham lost three of their last five games, Pochettino would have been a happy man with the return of Heung-min Son to the squad. Son, who has scored eight goals in the last nine games, will likely have a starting spot against Newcastle. Spurs will be missing Harry Kane and Dele Alli who are out with ankle and hamstring injuries respectively.
Additionally, Ben Davies is carrying a knock and is likely to sit the Newcastle game out, meaning Danny Rose could have an extended run in the starting lineup. Pochettino will have to make a decision on who to start at right-back as Serge Aurier and Kieran Trippier are both fit, with the Ivory Coast International starting the midweek game.
Pochettino is likely to stick to his three-man defence and go in with a three-man midfield of Moussa Sissoko, Eric Dier and Christian Eriksen. Fernando Llorente is expected to start as he is the only other out-and-out striker in the squad.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Lloris; Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Trippier, Sissoko, Dier, Eriksen, Rose; Son, Llorente
Rafael Benitez would have been a happy man after the January transfer window slammed shut after Newcastle made two signings late on. However, their record signing Miguel Almiron, signed from the MLS will not feature against Tottenham as he still awaits his work permit. It would certainly come as a disappointment for Benitez whose side are facing plenty of injury problems already.
Newcastle have further injury concerns as Mohamed Diame, Jonjo Shelvy and Paul Dummett are all in a race against time to face Tottenham. Furthermore, Newcastle will be without Ki Sung-yueng, Karl Darlow, Rob Elliot and Yoshinori Muto. Joselu, however, might be in contention to play.
That prompts the idea for Benitez to retain the starting lineup he fielded against Manchester City. This could mean more game time for Sean Longstaff and Issac Hayden, both of whom have been in good form of late.
Probable Lineup (5-4-1): Dubravka; Yedlin, Schar, Lascelles, Lejeune, Ritchie; Perez, Hayden, Longstaff, Atsu; Rondon
- Tottenham have won each of their last three against Newcastle United, after losing both games of the 2015-16 season.
- None of Spurs’ last 20 Premier League home games against Newcastle have ended in a draw, with the Magpies winning eight of them.
- Newcastle have lost on their last seven visits to Wembley in all competitions, since winning the 1955 FA Cup final against Man City – the worst ever losing run by a team at the stadium.
- Spurs have lost just one of their last 26 home Premier League games in February.
- Salomon Rondon has scored six Premier League goals this season – twice as many as any other Newcastle player.
Player to Watch
Heung-min Son (Tottenham Hotspur)
Tottenham fans were naturally worried after news of Harry Kane’s injury came out, and the striker is set to miss the whole of February. Coinciding Kane’s and Alli’s injuries, Tottenham crashed out of the two cup competitions in the space of days; however Heung-min Son has come back from the Asian Cup to give Spurs a timely boost.
Son has scored eight goals in the last nine games he has played and the equalizer against Watford earlier this week proved his worth in the side. Son will have to be among the goals at the weekend and ensure that Tottenham function just as effectively without their talismanic striker Kane.
Tottenham 2-1 Newcastle
Back to back league wins against Fulham and Watford, coupled with Liverpool and Manchester City dropping points has put Tottenham back into the mix in the title race. And Pochettino will be gunning for all three points on Saturday in order to keep the pressure on the top two.
Newcastle, on the other hand, come into the game on the back of an impressive win over Man City, although the chances of them making two big wins in a row look slim with injuries further hampering those chances. However, there could be the case that Newcastle pulls another shock, but Tottenham seem destined to take all three points here.