Sunday sees two under fire managers meet at St James’ Park. Both Steve Bruce and Jose Mourinho will be fearing for their jobs following recent disappointments. Newcastle United are just two points above the bottom three following a run of two wins in 18 Premier League matches. Meanwhile, Tottenham have fallen out of Europe and now need a top four finish to really call this season a success.
Newcastle fans are starting to expect relegation following a dire run of form. Many believed the performance at Brighton signalled the end for Steve Bruce, but he has managed to survive the international break. It will be hoped that the return of Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin will help boost the team in their battle against the drop. However, they have a difficult run of fixtures and recent performances have given little reason for optimism.
Tottenham returned to winning ways before the international break with a win over Aston Villa. Their defeat in the Europa League looked to be signalling the beginning of the end for Jose Mourinho, but he will be given every opportunity to show that he is the right manager for Spurs. They still have a chance of ending the season in the top four and winning a trophy in the process. Their lack of consistency means that Chelsea and Liverpool are both more likely to finish in the Champions League places, but a win on Sunday will strengthen their position.
Newcastle United have only won once at home in 2021.
Tottenham have lost nine Premier League matches. No team managed by Jose Mourinho has lost more often in a single league campaign.
Despite some disappointing results, Joe Willock has started his loan spell at Newcastle in good form. He provides energy to the midfield and he has the ability to contribute both in and out of possession. This fixture will motivate him, as he is a current Arsenal player. There will be motivation to perform well against his parent club’s rival team. Tottenham do have some talented players in midfield, with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Tanguy Ndombele both having good personal seasons. Newcastle need to get on top in central areas. Although they don’t have as much talent, they can work hard and try to get possession of the ball in the Spurs’ half. Willock will be key to that. He is averaging 4.6 tackles and interceptions per ninety minutes since moving on loan to Newcastle.
It is shaping up to be Harry Kane’s best personal season. He has been involved in 43 goals across all competitions, which is two fewer than his best campaign. This is a fixture that will appeal to him as Newcastle are facing relegation and they have had a shaky defence this season. He scored in both of the England matches that he started during the international break, which allowed him to continue his recent good form. Tottenham will need Kane to be at his best during the run-in if they are to secure a surprising top four finish. He is the type of player that will relish the responsibility and the run-in could bring out his best form. There is also the personal aim to finish as the leagues top scorer and assister. He is in the running for both.
It is hoped that Allan Saint-Maximin could be back to start for the home side, but it may come too soon for Callum Wilson. Isaac Hayden will be missing for the rest of the season. Sean Longstaff could be in line for a recall.
Son Heung-min and Sergio Reguilon have been passed fit for the trip to the North East. However, Matt Doherty and Ben Davies will be unavailable for the visitors.
Tottenham have shown inconsistency this season and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them drop points against Newcastle. However, this is a Newcastle team at their lowest ebb. At Brighton, they were awful and the score line could have been a lot worse on the night. Many expected Steve Bruce to be relieved of his duties following a run of two wins from 20 matches across all competitions. At he remains in post, it is difficult to see anything other than a Tottenham win.
Newcastle United 0-2 Tottenham