Alan Pardew’s club will begin a difficult part of their schedule on Sunday against Tottenham. They will face Manchester City mid-week in the League Cup, before returning home to find Liverpool waiting for them next Saturday.
Tottenham have not had the most positive start to the season either. The North London club currently have 11 points through their first eight contests and sit ninth in the table. They suffered a 4-1 defeat to Manchester City last weekend. The Spurs will only have two days rest after playing Asteras Tripolis on Thursday in Europa League action.
These clubs split their encounters last season. Newcastle beat Tottenham at White Hart Lane last November during the best of times. But the Spurs hammered the Magpies 4-0 in February. Newcastle are hoping to win consecutive league matches for the first time since beating Hull City back on March 1st.
Injuries and Suspensions
Newcastle was, no doubt relieved to hear last week that Tim Krul is not expected to miss any time after injuring his elbow. Ryan Taylor is finally fit again and could make his first appearance in almost two years.
Rolando Aarons (hamstring) and Davide Santon (knee) are still at least a week away from returning. A thigh injury will keep Siem de Jong out of action at least until Christmas. While Emmanuel Rivière and Sammy Ameobi were left out against Leicester City because of minor injuries. Their status remains unclear for Sunday.
Pardew said this week that Cheick Tiote’s calf injury is minor and he expects the defensive midfielder to play against Tottenham. Papiss Cisse did not train with the squad on Wednesday is a doubt for Sunday’s match.
Mauricio Pochettino will be without English defender Kyle Naughton who injured his ankle a few weeks ago against Southampton. Kyle Walker is also expected to be out several more weeks with an abdominal injury. Argentinian defender Federico Fazio was given a red card last week against Manchester City and will be suspended for the match.
Newcastle supporters have come to expect few changes this season. Alan Pardew has rarely deviated from the 4-2-3-1 formation. And barring any injuries, the starting XI should be almost identical to the one which overcame Leicester last week. Although, Tiote is expected to replace Vernon Anita.
Gabriel Obertan has been a very pleasant surprise in the last few matches and appears to be playing his best football since arriving at St. James’ Park. He is again expected to play on the wing at the expense of summer signing Rémy Cabella. Injuries to Cisse and Rivière could leave the club with few options at the striker position.
Pochettino has also favoured the 4-2-3-1 formation this season with Tottenham. Although he has gone back and forth between Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor at the striker position. The two have only one Premier League goal between them.
Pochettino is expected to field a weaker squad against Greek minnows Asteras Tripolis on Thursday, in order to rest players for Newcastle. Nacer Chadli leads the club with four goals this season. And Christian Eriksen is likely to pull the strings at the centre of the park for the Spurs. As he has done all season.
Tottenham and Newcastle have played some memorable matches recently. The Spurs hold the advantage over the last 10 contests, having won five in that time. Newcastle have won three, with the remaining two matches ending in draws.
The Magpies have the advantage of having a week off to rest and nurse injuries. But their recent away record in the league does not inspire much confidence. Newcastle have zero wins in their last nine league matches away from home, dating back to last season.
Newcastle showed some poise last time out against a tough Leicester City side. And after a terrible start to the season, the club has lost only one of their last five matches in all competitions. The Magpies produce a positive display but the match will end in a draw.
Tottenham Hotspur 1 – 1 Newcastle United