Tottenham Hotspur will be aiming to close the gap to the top four when they face off against Newcastle United in Matchweek 30 of the 2020/21 Premier League.
Tottenham Hotspur will be hoping to kickstart the Premier League season run-in on a winning note when they travel to St. James’ Park to take on Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon.
A run of poor results over the past couple of months has seen Tottenham drop down quite sharply on the table. The defeats against Arsenal in the league and Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League has only served to ramp up the pressure on Jose Mourinho. However, the win over Aston Villa right before the international break kept them alive in the top four race, with Spurs just three points off fourth-placed Chelsea.
Newcastle United, meanwhile, have been dragged into the relegation dogfight after a run of six games without a win, with their most recent fixture ending in a 3-0 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion. Currently 17th in the table, Steve Bruce’s men are just two points clear of 18th-placed Fulham, although with a game in hand. Nevertheless, the Magpies need to turn their fortunes around as soon as possible.
The reverse fixture, played in September last year saw Newcastle hold Tottenham to a 1-1 draw after Lucas Moura’s first-half strike was cancelled out by a Callum Wilson penalty deep into stoppage time. And ahead of their latest meeting this weekend, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams.
Team News & Tactics
🎙 Steve Bruce speaks to the media ahead of #NEWTOT on Sunday.
"The break has allowed us to get some players close to match fitness. It's fair to say Saint-Maximin is a bit more advanced than Callum Wilson is." pic.twitter.com/bJnVOUl0xb
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) April 2, 2021
Newcastle United have been handed some good news on the injury front as Allan Saint-Maximin is back in training and could be set to play some part against Tottenham. Martin Dubravka is also in contention to feature, but Callum Wilson remains a doubt and will undergo a late fitness test to determine his availability. Fabian Schar and Isaac Hayden are long-term absentees for the Magpies.
Steve Bruce has switched to a 4-3-3 formation in recent weeks and could stick with the same shape when Tottenham come to town. With Dubravka back, he should get the nod between the sticks on Sunday, protected by a backline comprising of Javier Manquillo, Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark and Paul Dummett, who will all stay tight and compact at the back.
Jonjo Shelvey will take up the deepest slot in the middle of the park and look to ping forward passes to the wide runners while on-loan Arsenal youngster Joe Willock and Jeff Hendrick provide the legs in the midfield engine room.
Saint-Maximin is likely to be afforded minutes from the bench given he has just returned to training. So, Ryan Fraser, who enjoyed a productive run for Scotland during the international break, should line up out wide for Newcastle along with Joelinton while Miguel Almiron continues to operate as the false nine in Wilson’s absence.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Dubravka; Manquillo, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett; Willock, Shelvey, Hendrick; Joelinton, Almiron, Fraser
Tottenham, meanwhile, have a couple of fresh injuries to deal with as Ben Davies misses out due to a calf issue he picked up in the last game against Aston Villa while fellow full-back Matt Doherty is ruled out after he picked up an injury during international duty with the Republic of Ireland.
There is some positive news as well for Jose Mourinho & co. as Son Heung-min is back after missing the last two matches while Sergio Reguilon is also fit after going off injured against Aston Villa. Erik Lamela returns from suspension to hand Mourinho further boost with regard to his attacking options.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) April 1, 2021
Mourinho switched things up completely for the game against Aston Villa after the disappointing losses to Arsenal and Dinamo Zagreb, going in with a 4-4-2 formation with a number of fringe players getting an opportunity. With Spurs having produced an impressive performance against the Villans, the manager could stick with the same tactics and personnel.
In goal, captain Hugo Lloris is a certain starter while Davinson Sanchez and Joe Rodon shield him as the two centre-backs. Youngster Japhet Tanganga should get another chance at right-back ahead of Serge Aurier while Reguilon takes up the left-back slot from where he will constantly look to push forward and create chances for his teammates.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg will hold down the fort in midfield for Spurs, with Tanguy Ndombele acting as the ball-carrier alongside him. Lucas Moura and the fit-again Son will carry the threat from the wide areas, acting as the main supply line for the two-pronged strikeforce of Carlos Vinicius and superstar Harry Kane.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Lloris; Tanganga, Sanchez, Rodon, Reguilon; Moura, Ndombele, Hojbjerg, Son; Vinicius, Kane
1. Tottenham to win @ 1.60
1. Harry Kane to score 2 or more @ 3.50
- Tottenham Hotspur have won 5 of their last 6 away matches against Newcastle United in all competitions.
- Newcastle United have failed to win their last six encounters in the Premier League. In fact, since picking up back-to-back wins against Crystal Palace and West Brom, the Magpies have won just two of their last 18 league games (D5 L11), picking up the fewest points by any team during this period (11).
- Tottenham have won four of their last five Premier League games (L1) as many as they had managed in the previous 15 (D4 L7).
- Newcastle United have managed to keep just one clean sheet in their last eight Premier League matches.
- Tottenham have won two of their last three league games away from home, more than what they had managed in their previous eight fixtures on the road (W1 D3 L4).
Player to Watch
As we near the end of the season, the future of Tottenham superstar and England captain Harry Kane is once again a hot topic of discussion. The 27-year-old, yet again, has emerged as a transfer target for who’s who of Europe, with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City, Manchester United all showing an interest.
Naturally so, considering the season he has had so far. Kane, so far in 2020/21, has been directly involved in 43 goals in 40 matches across all competitions, scoring 27 goals and setting up 16 more, which is just two short of the best-ever season of his career (41 goals, 4 assists in 2017/18).
While his goalscoring abilities were always second to none, Kane has stunned everyone with his playmaking qualities this term, with his tally of 13 league assists this term only bettered by two Tottenham players in the past – Christian Eriksen (15 in 2016/17) and Darren Anderton (14 in 1994/95). Expect him to be at the forefront of things for Spurs against Newcastle.
Newcastle United 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Newcastle United look in all sorts of trouble currently, having failed to win their last six matches. Add to that, the absence of key goalscorer Callum Wilson will be a major blow for Steve Bruce’s men. Tottenham, on the other hand, bounced back strongly against Aston Villa after a torrid week, showing there’s plenty of fight left as they push for a top-four finish.
Harry Kane has been in brilliant form this term and enjoyed a fruitful international break as well. And with Son Heung-min also back from injury, Tottenham Hotspur should be good for all three points at St. James’ Park on Sunday, keeping the heat on the likes of Chelsea and West Ham in the race for the Champions League spots.