Tottenham host Newcastle United this weekend as they look to make it three out of three unbeaten in the Premier League. Their performances haven’t been great during the opening two weekends, but they have managed to get positive results in both of their matches. On the other hand, Steve Bruce is already under pressure at St James’ Park following back-to-back defeats. It was always going to be difficult to succeed Rafa Benitez and the supporters’ ire will only grow with every disappointing defeat.
The task for Tottenham is to close the gap to the top two and emerge as a title contender over the coming years. Their transfer business over the summer was ambitious as they brought in two highly regarded midfielders from the continent. Tanguy Ndombele has already made an impressive contribution in his early appearances, while Giovani Lo Celso will be hoping for minutes this weekend. The rest of the squad has been settled under Mauricio Pochettino and their success in the Champions League showed their potential.
Newcastle United have already emerged as the favourites for relegation in what is shaping up to be a strong Premier League. This would have been a huge surprise at the end of last season, as Rafa Benitez was starting to make real progress at the club. However, a lack of ambition from the boardroom led to his departure and the appointment of Steve Bruce was always likely to lead to a drop off in performances. The early indications are that the defensive strength that the team had under the previous manager has been lost. Supporters were expecting a poor season, but with their upcoming fixtures, they could be the first team cut adrift at the bottom of the division.
Christian Eriksen is only one goal away from reaching 50 Premier League goals for Tottenham. He would be the fifth player to reach this landmark.
Newcastle are the only Premier League team not to complete a pass in the opposition penalty area this season. This highlights their attacking problems.
The England captain will be delighted to be back playing on a regular basis for Tottenham, following some frustrating ankle problems towards the end of last season. During the first home match of the season, Kane bagged a brace to help his team to a comeback victory against Aston Villa. The signs were positive in terms of his movement and his goal threat. There were a couple of occasions where he should have done better, but his total of eight shots will encourage supporters that he is getting back to his best. Newcastle were terrible at the back against Norwich, as they were cut open on numerous occasions. Teemu Pukki managed to get a hat-trick and Kane will be hoping to have a similar impact. Since breaking into the first-team, he has been one of the most prolific players in the league. He should be near the top of the leading goal-scorers yet again at the end of this campaign.
Newcastle will be delighted that they managed to keep Isaac Hayden this summer, following the midfielder’s transfers request. He wanted to leave for personal reasons, but they have started to clear up and the Englishman looks set to be a key player for the team this season. In the second half of last season, he nailed down a regular starting place and started to dominate Premier League midfield contests. Pep Guardiola picked him out for praise in the aftermath of Manchester City’s shock defeat at St James’ Park. During the first two matches, the 24-year-old averaged five ball recoveries per game. His tenacity and aggression in central areas will be crucial, as Newcastle will need to win the ball back high up the pitch. They will look to use pace on the counter-attack and Hayden is central to that approach.
Tanguy Ndombele is ruled out following an injury in training this week. Son Heung-min is available after serving a suspension. He could come straight back into the starting eleven. Juan Foyth won’t be available for the home team. Dele Alli is back in contention.
Allan Saint-Maximin is available following his injury. Joelinton should shake off his knock to lead the line for the visitors. Andy Carroll and Dwight Gayle remain on the sidelines.
Tottenham will need to be strong at home if they are to compete with Liverpool and Manchester City. They can’t afford to drop points against the likes of Newcastle. The visitors are desperate for a good performance. Their supporters won’t be expecting a win, but a spirited display is the very minimum expected from them. It was the norm under Benitez, but it will be much harder to reach those levels given Bruce’s Premier League record. The home side should win comfortably this weekend.
Tottenham 3-0 Newcastle United