Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to make it three Premier League victories on the bounce when they welcome Newcastle United to north London on Sunday evening.

Sunday’s Premier League action will see Tottenham Hotspur play hosts to Newcastle United in an enticing match-up between two of the most entertaining teams in the league.

Tottenham finally broke their win-loss streak before the international break as they followed up a 2-0 win at Brighton with a 3-1 victory over West Ham. These back-to-back two-goal margin triumphs have helped them put an action-packed 3-2 away defeat at the hands of Manchester United behind.

Antonio Conte’s troops have been too hot to handle in the final third in recent games, winning four of their last five top-flight games with a combined score of 16-4 while netting at least two goals in each of those five matches.

The Lilywhites are currently sitting fifth in the table, three points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who have a game in hand. However, with a relatively easy set of fixtures between now and the end of the campaign, Conte’s men can yet make a late push to finish in the top four at the expense of their north London rivals.

As for Newcastle, following an unbeaten run since the start of the year that distanced themselves clear of the bottom three, Eddie Howe oversaw successive 1-0 defeats to Chelsea and Everton to put brakes on their rising momentum prior to the international break.

Although the Magpies appear safe in the bottom half of the Premier League table, they may feel the need for one more victory to ensure Premier League survival.

But the Magpies have struggled against Tottenham since reclaiming their top-flight status back in 2017, going winless in eight of their nine league meetings against Spurs (D2, L6). The visitors were also on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline in the reverse fixture at St James’ Park in October last year.

Team News & Tactics

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte confirmed during Friday’s press conference that Ben Davies should be available this weekend despite sustaining some muscle tightness while on international duty with Wales.

Oliver Skipp (groin) and Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring) are getting closer to returning to action, but the duo will miss Sunday’s game, while Japhet Tanganga remains sidelined until pre-season with a long-term knee injury. Conte has named the same starting XI for the last three league matches, and it is very unlikely that he will shake things up on Sunday unless forced through late knocks.

Hugo Lloris will continue to operate in goal for the north London outfit, with the team lining up in their customary 3-4-3 formation in front of the French international. Conte could pertain with a three-man central defensive unit consisting of Eric Dier, Cristian Romero and Ben Davies whilst a depth issue in his defensive contingent.

Matt Doherty will keep his place at right-back after emerging as the first choice right wing-back since the start of February at the expense of Emerson Royal, whereas Sergio Reguilon will offer width from the other flank with his forward bursts.

The two wing-backs will flank Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur in the second line of press. The double midfield pivot provides Spurs with the perfect balance to transition from a defensive shape into an all-out attack in a flicker.

Harry Kane has been in fine form recently and ought to continue to spearhead the Tottenham frontline. Dejan Kulusevski and Son Heung-Min have also performed admirably for the Lilywhites in recent weeks. Their darting runs to break the defensive lines and exploit free spaces could pose a major problem for Newcastle’s backline to deal with on Sunday.

Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Lloris; Romero, Dier, Davies; Doherty, Bentancur, Hojbjerg, Reguilon; Kulusevski, Kane, Son

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Newcastle United

Newcastle remains without the services of Callum Wilson, Kieran Trippier, Isaac Hayden and Jamal Lewis due to their respective injuries, although the former two are making good progress on the road to full recovery.

In his pre-match presser, manager Eddie Howe has also revealed that he is hopeful that Jonjo Shelvey, Fabian Schar and Martin Dubravka will be available for Sunday’s fixture despite recent injury issues.

Eddie Howe will stick to the 4-3-3 setup despite the consecutive defeats before the international period with a couple of changes to the side that took to the field last time out against Everton. Maverick winger Allan Saint-Maximin, for one, is likely to return to the starting lineup.

Martin Dubravka, if fit, will continue to operate in goal for the Magpies. The Slovak shot-stopper will be shielded by a formidable central defensive partnership of Fabian Schar and Dan Burn as they look to keep the Kane-Son duo quiet throughout the 90 minutes. Emil Krafth and Matt Targett ought to be the two full-backs on the right and left sides, respectively, with the latter tasked to utilise his ball-playing ability to create some wing plays.

Bruno Guimaraes played the full 90 minutes with Brazil in Bolivia in midweek, meaning Jonjo Shelvey should anchor the midfield for the visitors while also utilising his wide range of distribution to play passes for the forwards to run onto. Joelinton and Joe Willock will offer forward thrust as well as defensive support and high-press.

Allan Saint-Maximin and Jacob Murphy will try to put their pace and trickery to good use on either flank to stretch Tottenham’s defence. Saint-Maximin, in particular, has the unpredictability to create magical moments out of nothing, though he lacks consistency.

Finally, Chris Wood, who scored five international goals while on international duty with New Zealand, will look to carry his red-hot goal-scoring form into the domestic circuit.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Dubravka; Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett; Willock, Shelvey, Joelinton; Murphy, Wood, Saint-Maximin

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Key Stats

  • Newcastle United have not conceded more than one goal in any of their last 11 league matches since the turn of the year.
  • Tottenham have only won two of their last seven home league games against Newcastle (D1 L4).
  • Antonio Conte’s men have been in free-scoring form recently and have scored at least 2 goals in 8 of their last 9 home matches in all competitions.
  • The Lilywhites have won four of their last five Premier League matches (L1), while they lost four of their five previous to that (W1).
  • Newcastle have lost eight of their 15 league matches on the road this term, while they have not beaten the hosts since August 2019, losing two of the last four meetings between the sides.

Player to Watch

Harry Kane

Set to join Real Madrid this summer? (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

The main man for Spurs. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Spurs may not be best-placed for a top-four finish this season, but if they are to stand any chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League, Harry Kane must be at the fulcrum of their success. The England skipper has not had his best campaign to date but has finally hit his usual strides, scoring four goals and registering two assists in his last four Premier League appearances.

Kane will always be a threat to opposing defences either by his goal-scoring exploits or sheer quality to play line-breaking passes. Moreover, the 28-year-old boasts a decent track record against Newcastle, having made seven-goal contributions across his past four Premier League appearances against them.

Prediction

Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Newcastle United

Tottenham will be desperate for all three points to keep pushing for a top-four finish and have shown some consistency of late. Meanwhile, Newcastle comes off the back of consecutive defeats, but that should not overshadow how incredibly tough to break the Magpies have been in recent games. Even those losses came in the 89th minute and 90th minute, respectively.

On paper, Harry Kane and co. should have enough quality in the final third to get past the visitors, but given Spurs have a host of international players returning, this might affect the result against an energetic Newcastle side. So, the Hard Tackle predicts both sides to share the spoils in a tight affair at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

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