Newcastle United return home to face Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday hoping to rebound from a series of poor results. The Magpies have won only once in their last seven league matches.
They will face a Spurs side that beat Everton 1-0 on the weekend. The London club are currently holding down the final Europa League position for next season, ten points ahead of Newcastle.
Alan Pardew’s club will have an 11 day break after the match and would like nothing more to go into that time with a renewed sense of confidence. The club is struggling to score goals at the moment and need a win to have any chance of returning to the Europa League for next season.
Newcastle won the earlier meeting between these two clubs this season, a 1-0 win at White Hart Lane on November 10th. Loïc Rémy scored the only goal of the match on that day.
Injuries and Suspensions
Newcastle continue to be plagued by injuries. To make matters worse, right-back Mathieu Debuchy suffered an apparent calf injury this weekend against Chelsea and is expected to miss several weeks. Cheick Tiote and Fabricio Coloccini are still a few weeks away.
Yoan Gouffran is still struggling with an undisclosed injury and it is uncertain whether he will return on Wednesday. Striker Loïc Rémy will sit out the match due to suspension. He is eligible to return against Aston Villa on February 23rd.
But the club did receive some good news this week. Striker Papiss Cisse, who has been battling a back injury is expected to be available for Wednesday’s match.
Tim Sherwood’s club remains relatively healthy. Andros Townsend returned from a hamstring injury last week. However, Brazilian midfielder Sandro has been out with a calf injury since December and is not expected to play against Newcastle.
Defender Vlad Chiricheș has missed the last few matches with a back injury. And big-money signing Erik Lamela remains sidelined with a thigh muscle strain.
Tim Sherwood has switched between the 4-4-2 and a 4-2-3-1 formations during his time with the London club. Emmanuel Adebayor has enjoyed a nice resurgence under the English manager. He has scored six goals in nine league matches since Sherwood was appointed.
If Tottenham lines up in a 4-4-2 formation, Spanish international Roberto Soldado will more than likely partner with Adebayor up front. Adebayor leads the team with six goals. The Spurs have scored in all nine league matches since Sherwood was appointed manager in December.
As for Newcastle, it would be foolish to predict Pardew’s tactics seeing that there are so many injuries. But it appears that Davide Santon could play as a defensive midfielder again in Tioté’s absence. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa appears to be the obvious replacement for Debuchy at right-back.
The most uncertainty remains up front with several key players injured and leading goalscorer Loïc Rémy suspended. Papiss Cissé’s return does not mean he will start. Yoan Gouffran was expected to return against Chelsea but was not deemed fit enough to play. His return would be very welcome.
Luuk de Jong is expected to start up front. The Dutch striker, who is on loan from Borussia Mönchengladbach, recently expressed his desire to stay with the club after this season. A goal against Tottenham will go a long way in proving he belongs at Newcastle.
Tottenham have shown some improvement under Tim Sherwood and will be extra motivated to avenge the loss to Newcastle earlier this season. The Spurs have lost just once in their last 10 league matches away from home. That includes seven wins in that time.
Newcastle have lost their last three matches at St.James’ Park without scoring a goal. The club has not scored in six of their last seven league matches overall. The Magpies are in desperate need of a win.
Alan Pardew is under immense pressure to get his club back on track. Injuries, Remy’s suspension and the departure of Yohan Cabaye, of course have not helped. But the club still has the talent to beat a club like Tottenham.
The Magpies will come out with a much better effort and beat the Spurs in what should be an exciting match.
Newcastle United 1 – 0 Tottenham Hotspur