Newcastle will be hoping to stop their current rot as they host Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night in the Barclays Premier League.
Alan Pardew has had easier times on Tyneside, following the sale of crucial midfield man, Yohan Cabaye to PSG in January, failure to replace him, a misfiring side, a suspended Loic Remy and have been left licking their wounds following back to back premier league defeats, first 3-0 at home in the Tyne-wear derby to Sunderland, and then another 3-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge.
Tottenham meanwhile will be looking to continue their top four charge, as they find themselves only three points behind Liverpool in fourth following the weekend’s crucial three points over Everton. Memories of the reverse fixture will be prominent in the Londoners minds as they make the journey across the country following the 1-0 defeat at home thanks to the now injured Loic Remy.
Key Man – Tim Krul:
In the reverse fixture this season, despite Loic Remy snatching the win following poor defending from Tottenham’s centre half pairing, the man who took the headlines was Newcastle’s big, flying Dutch goalkeeper who made fourteen incredible saves, a record for the league recording back to 2006/07. The Dutch keeper will be expecting to be under heavy pressure during this match and Geordie fans will be reliant upon him to keep a clean sheet, should Newcastle achieve anything from this game.
Key Man – Jan Vertonghen:
Tottenham have frequently leaked goals this season, conceding four, five and six on different occasions, but in all of these matches, there has been one key defender missing. Jan Vertonghen. The Belgium centre half has become one of the best defenders in the Premier league since his transfer from Ajax two summers ago. This will be his third game since his return from injury and especially during the match against Everton seems to be back to his best.
Newcastle will definitely be without striker Loic Remy of who has been in lightening form as far this season following his loan switch from QPR in the summer. Key defensive duo, captain Fabricio Coloccini and right back, Mathieu Debuchy miss the game through knee and calf injuries respectively, whilst midfield trio, Cheick Tiote, Gabriel Obertan and Gael Bigirimana will miss the game through hamstring, knee and ankle injuries respectively. Forward due, Yoan Gouffran and Papiss Cisse will be tested before the match meaning that brothers Shola and Sammy Ameobi may start together once again.
Tottenham meanwhile are on the other side of their injury crisis, with many key players returning to action in recent weeks. However the match comes too soon for Sandro and Vlad Chiriches who will remain side-lined due to calf and back injuries, whilst Erik Lamela is expected to miss a further six weeks with a thigh strain.
I would like us to pack the midfield in this game and completely dominant against a midfield missing Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tiote, therefore if we were to play three in midfield, Sherwood can continue to play Bentaleb, whilst having Lennon and Townsend wide allows Eriksen to play in his preferable position just behind our lone striker, Emmanuel Adebayor. I’m feeling quite confident about this fixture and think we’ll win 2-0 with goals coming from Andros Townsend and Emmanuel Adebayor.