All stars aligned for Newcastle on Saturday as Liverpool lost to Nottingham Forest (?) while Chelsea and Man. Utd. drew their game thus making it possible for the Magpies to jump ahead of the two Big Six clubs later today with a victory over Tottenham.
That’s still more than a few hours away, of course, but you bet all Geordies inhabiting planet Earth would like to go to sleep sitting in Champions League places, don’t you?
In order for that to become a reality at least until next weekend, Newcastle will need to defeat the (lesser) lads from North London away from home and at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this evening. Tottenham, in case you don’t know—how could you?—are coming off a defeat at the hands of the Red Devils this past midweek.
Newcastle, on the other hand, won their last game against Everton by a small margin of one goal but still enough to keep climbing the ladder toward a much-desired top-four finish.
There is a little thing Newcastle have done through the first 12 match days of Premier League play this season: allowing single-digit goals to the opposition, even though the Magpies have already played 11 games compared to other sides close to them that have only played 10. Uh, oh, this defense.
The warriors from Tyneside have conceded just nine goals while scoring 18 themselves. You might have not thought that was the case considering how much talk has been out there speaking of the lack of goalscoring, etc... but only five teams have more goals scored than Newcastle’s 18 and just three of those teams are currently sitting above Newcastle on the table.
All things considered, Newcastle’s +9 goal difference is the fourth-best of the early season only topped by the figures posted by Tottenham, Arsenal, and Manchester City. Even better, the models have Newcastle with the third-best xGD among Premier League teams (+8.3) only behind Arsenal and Man. City.
No matter how you slice it, the Magpies know a thing or two about this thing called soccer and all they’ve done they’ve done it without any single soul scoring more than five goals—Mighty Miggy leading the way for the Men in Black & White.
The game against Liverpool is the only one (undeservedly) marking a breakpoint in Newcastle’s season to date as that’s the only loss this team has suffered all year long. It was preceded by two wins and three draws, and it’s now been followed by three wins and three draws with five more games to go—including Today’s—before the lads go on a Sunny trip to Saudi Arabia during the World Cup break.
Last year wasn’t a good one in the books of Newcastle when it came to adding the entries pertaining to matches against Tottenham. This year, though, things could very well change with Eddie Howe fully entrenched into the Magpies bench and the squad settled and having fully bought into the Howe Mentality.
This game against the Spurs is the only one on the Magpies schedule before the break that takes place against a top-five side away from home. Newcastle will host Chelsea right before everybody gets their bags packed on MD16 three weeks from now, but between now and then only Tottenham, Aston Villa and Southampton stay in Newcastle’s way.
In other words, the Magpies might/should/must get at least seven points of the next nine up for grabs ahead of the Blues match. That’d be sublime and keep the team in the top places without regard for other teams’ results.
Let’s get it popping against Antonio Conte.
FotMob.com predictions at the upcoming Starting XIs from the Magpies and the Spurs are in, so let’s go through what could be coming from Newcastle’s Eddie Howe.
- Not Available: Saint-Maximin (hamstring), Isak (thigh), Darlow (ankle), Krafth (knee), Ritchie (calf), Joelinton (knee)
- Doubtful: None
- I don’t even know why do I keep writing blurbs about who is starting under Newcastle’s goalposts. Seriously. It’s Nick Pope all day every day and judging by what went down a fortnight ago that should also be the case in the Three Lions XI—dropping the nugget just in case Southy is reading this.
- Hella big game today and even more considering how Tottenham basically trashed Newcastle last season home and away. Not a single chance Kieran Trippier was going to miss this match anyway, but it’s Revenge Day for him in particular and the rest of the lads as a whole.
- Eddie Howe seems to have forgotten with the word “rotation” means and he must be thinking that handing the starters more and more minutes is the way to go with the month-long break ahead between mid-November and mid-December, right?
- That’s why it’s going to be Fabian Schar and Sven Botman in the middle of the line with poor Jamaal Lascelles having to wait until that Saudi Arabia friendly to make it there, am I right?
- I also feel a bit sorry for Matt Target because the guy is fantastic but the ongoing Left-Back Dan Burn Experiment is working wonders. No need for a change, as Howe would say.
- Bruno became a father earlier this weekend with Matteo arriving in this tiny little world. The Brazilian said that he hoped his son could wait until Monday so he wouldn’t miss the game nor the birth of his little man. The order got a little reversed, but the outcome is the same. What better than to celebrate with a goal, an assist, and a victory in London?
- You know that Newcastle takes these locker-room pictures every time they win a game, right? Well, Joe Willock appeared in it this past midweek with his big toe popping out of his sock, which tells you all you need to know about the effort this man puts on and also probably has nothing to do with him starting the game against Tottenham, but it still sounds funny and made me laugh and that’s it.
- Joelinton has picked up an injury and should be out of today’s starting XI and most probably the full game, which simply sucks. That said, Sean Longstaff has gone two or seven steps up in his development and is now a weekly starter with more than a few chops in the middle of the park. I was a doubter back in the day, so here I am presenting my respect to the young man and saying sorry for my past sins. A man is weak.
- You’re just not benching Unplayable Miguel Almirón ever, let alone right now in the middle of a furious storm of Paraguayan fire.
- The vibes around Callum Wilson are not so firey, but there are no more options because of the stupid injuries and flesh and cartilage and bone not being made of steel in the human body if you know what I’m saying. Wilson is still playing for a place on the plane to Qatar, so the commitment and willingness, and effort will be there. Also, Harry Kane vs. Callum Wilson in the distance—same as Pope vs. Pickford last time out—sounds like music to my ears.
- The last (and only) open place is up for grabs once more although it has not felt like that with Eddie Howe calling the shots. It’s been Jacob Murphy left and right, north and south, starting every single goddamn game of late above Ryan Fraser—of course with both Alexander Isak and Allan Saint-Maximin out. I have to think that will be the case again today because Tottenham is no joke and Murphy has turned into Howe’s right-hand man of trust. Fraser will get his minutes and so will Elliot Anderson, who already subbed into the match against Everton in exchange for Murphy.
CHN Predicted Lineup
DEF Trippier - Schar - Botman - Burn
MID Willock - Bruno - Longstaff
WNG Almirón - Murphy
Our team to face Newcastle pic.twitter.com/wn4pdReHn6— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) October 23, 2022
How we line-up for #TOTNEW this afternoon...— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) October 23, 2022
HWTL! ⚫️⚪️ pic.twitter.com/48INPEUJwO
- Date: Sunday, October 23rd
- Kick-off: 16:30 BST / 11:30 EST / 9:30 PST
- Location: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London (England)
- Broadcasts: SKY GO Extra, Sky Ultra HD, Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League, BBC Radio 5 Live (UK), USA Network, SiriusXM FC, Telemundo, nbcsports.com, NBC Sports App, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA), fuboTV (Canada)
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Howay the Lads!