Tottenham host Newcastle United this weekend, as they attempt to bounce back from a disappointing defeat to Manchester United in the week. Their home form has been good, but they will need to show a sharp improvement from mid-week. For Newcastle, this is a great test of their European credentials. They have only lost once this season, but they will need to be at their best to get something from Spurs.
Antonio Conte’s approach in the big matches is proving to be a concern, as they have now lost to Arsenal and Manchester United in quick succession. Although Newcastle aren’t currently a top-six team, they are arguably the best of the rest, and this will be another big test of Tottenham. If they perform like they did during the week, they might struggle to defeat the Magpies. The team remain in third position. Conte will be looking over his shoulder though. A defeat on Sunday would see Newcastle move just two points behind them. That would be very concerning. The home side need a good performance and a positive result on Sunday.
It has been an excellent start to the season for Newcastle, as they are currently positioned in 6th place. They have already faced Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United. Despite not winning any of those matches, they only lost once and were somewhat unfortunate to concede a late winner at Anfield. Eddie Howe will want to see his team beat one of the top six to assert their new status as a challenger to them. This weekend gives another opportunity to record that victory against a team at a low point.
Tottenham are on a run of 10 successive home wins across all competitions, scoring 27 goals in the process.
Newcastle have only lost once in their last 14 matches across all competitions.
There are a lot of selection issues for Antonio Conte following the poor performance during the week. Once player with no fears about their place will be Harry Kane. He has been the club’s best player this season and he looks to be back to his best under Conte. In the Premier League, he has nine goals and one assist. If Erling Haaland wasn’t in the league, there would be a lot more talk about his goal-scoring form, as he is on course for a very good return in front of goal. Throughout his career, he has scored seven goals against Newcastle. He will have some fond memories of this fixture and he will feel that he can score against the current best defence in the league. After the midweek defeat, Spurs need their key players to stand up and help them bounce back from the disappointment. Kane is the key player in attack. If he plays well, Tottenham should win the game.
Miguel Almiron has been in excellent form for Eddie Howe this season. After the takeover, the pressure was on the South American to prove that he is good enough to stay at the club. Five goals already suggests that he is showing big improvements under Howe, and he is currently one of the first names on the team-sheet. There will be no calls for the club to replace him in January, as he is contributing a lot to the high league position. During the week, he scored a great goal to secure all three points against Everton. On another day, he could have scored more. The confidence is flowing through his game. Almiron will be looking to continue his form on Sunday. If Tottenham look as shaky at the back on Sunday as they did during the week, Almiron could have a big part to play.
Dejan Kulusevski will be out until after the World Cup. Richarlison will also be missing for this weekend. However, Emerson Royal will be available after serving his three-match suspension.
Joelinton may not be available after being taken off during the week with a knee injury. Joe Willock is likely to come into the team if the Brazilian misses out. Allan Saint-Maximin and Alexander Isak will both not be in the squad to face Tottenham.
This is a tough match to call. Newcastle have been very good this season, but they have yet to get a win against one of the top-six teams. This weekend could be the time when it happens. Tottenham look a much worse team without Kulusevski, as they lack creativity. Meanwhile, their defence seems unable to prevent the opposition from getting shots on goal. Newcastle are a heavy pressing team, who generate a lot of shooting opportunities and they have an excellent defence.
Tottenham 1-2 Newcastle United