Tottenham and Newcastle will face each other on a Sunny Sunday at St James’ Park for their second and final meeting of the season. The first time they clashed, back in October, the Magpies won the match (2-1) and returned home with three points in their collective bag.
Back then, as our own Graeme wrote in his match report, “the Magpies entered the game full of confidence and with a chance to move into the top four.” Well, talk about delivering.
Not only did your boys defeat Totts, but they went on to keep pilling up positive after positive result and the Magpies are now sitting pretty in fourth place and at no risk of losing such position in the standings no matter what happens on Sunday—barring a 6-0 defeat, which... I mean.
Tottenham, currently sitting fifth in the standings, cannot be more discombobulated. They fired (or parted ways with, depending on how candidly you want to take it) their coach just a handful of weeks ago. Their managing director, Fabio Paratici, just resigned from his position last Friday after getting a 30-month ban for false accounting during his time at Juventus. Harry Kane will soon be wearing another kit whether that is in Manchester or Munich or Paris. On and on it goes...
Daniel Levy, Honcho Chairman & Linchpin of All-Things Spurs, is the only thing staying put. Perhaps, though, he’s the one that should be thinking about leaving the club in peace once and for all after failing at achieving anything at all through his reign of terror.
I’m not really joking when I say that. As greatly as Tottenham have competed through the last decade, the truth is that they have won absolutely nothing at all. Levy arrived at Tottenham in the early aughts, becoming chairman in Feb. 2001, and taking over day-to-day duties in Oct. 2001. It’s been more than 20 years with Levy at the helm.
In that span, the Spurs made it to five EFL Cup finals winning one (yay!). When it comes to actual competitions, as highly as Tottenham always sell themselves as a “Big Six” club of sorts, it’s been dreadful.
They reached a Champions League final in 2019 only to fail miserably against a surefire B6 member in Liverpool. They finished second in the EPL back in 2017 sandwiching that season between two third-place finishes. They got to play in the group stage of the brand-new Europa Conference League last season. Staggering, isn’t it?
Meanwhile, Newcastle got took over just a year and a half ago and has won nearly as many titles as the Spurs in that time, reaching the EFL Cup final a few weeks ago and only falling two goals short of lifting the trophy.
So it’s not that Newcastle are threatening Tottenham with pushing them off the English Big Six. It’s that there was never such a six-team club, because Tottenham told everybody they belong when they clearly did not. It’s just Newcastle turning a Big Five into a Big Six, possibly starting this/next season.
While that happens, of course, Tottenham will keep trying to earn their golden membership card to turn the current Big Five into a Big Seven, only after Newcastle get their entry as the sixth member.
Howe took to the microphones and addressed the most pressing questions by the media on Friday, ahead of the matchup against Tottenham at St James’ Park scheduled for Sunday, April 23rd.
You can read everything Howe had to say here, as part of our pre-match coverage.
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: Krafth (knee), Saint-Maximin (hamstring)
- Doubtful: Almiron (hamstring)
- The last time Newcastle played a football game, last Saturday at Aston Villa, Anthony Gordon made it to the starting XI in a rather surprising development. That was, of course, because of Sean Longstaff’s absence forcing Joelinton to play in the middle of the park instead of the wing.
- We don’t really know if Miggy will be at full capacity, but we know that this is Eddie Howe and Miguel Almiron we’re talking about. This means we’re discussing two very stubborn and willing men devising a plan here, which also means if Miggy is even at 50% fitness levels he will start on the right wing.
- Of course, this depends again on Sean Longstaff's availability. Howe said in his pre-game presser that he should be good to go, so we assume the oft-used midfield trio of Longstaff-Bruno-Willock will start with Joelinton on the LW and Miggy on the RW.
- Jacob Murphy started opposite Gordon and he’s been sublime of late. Perhaps if Longstaff returns and Miggy is not fully fit, he plays. I’d say he has more chances of making the XI than Gordon on a pure 1v1 battle against the former Toffee, let alone with Joelinton manning the left flank.
- There has been some talk during the last few days about Matt Targett making it back to the XI. Truth be told, it can happen. Newcastle have the strongest defensive unit in the Premier League this season and Matty has only played 459 minutes (excluding added time) while starting four games because of injuries, only getting more than six minutes of play for the first time since Nov. 9th last Saturday when he played 23 minutes off the pine. He’s class, though, and Dan Burn is tired as hell. Might be time for a change out of context, but facing a top-5 opponent such as Tottenham I just don’t see it happening today.
- Believe it or not, Newcastle didn’t score a goal last weekend. It’s the first game in nearly a month and a half in which the Magpies failed to score at least one goal as the last time to prevent them from bagging one was Man City all the way back in Mar. 4th. Shouldn’t happen again, let alone playing at SJP where the Magpies have scored at least once in all but three matches this season.
- The question is not about whether or not Newcastle will score on Sunday. The question is who will be the man tasked with putting one (or more!) past Tottenham’s goalie? Alexander Isak started last Saturday and failed at it. Callum Wilson has become a super-sub of sorts and I’m cool with that, but Howe doesn’t seem to have a solid preference. One thing we know: Isak and Wilson won’t be on the same XI. Give me Isak today with Callum coming off the bench late.
- Little Allan Saint-Maximin update: the forward is still rehabbing in France, he’s out today, and he’s expected back in England in a few days.
CHN Predicted Lineup
DEF Trippier - Schar - Botman - Burn
MID Longstaff - Bruno - Willock
WNG Almiron - Joelinton
- Date: Sunday, April 23rd
- Kick-off: 14:00 BST / 9:00 EST
- Location: St James’ Park, Newcastle (England)
- Broadcasts: fuboTV (CAN) — Telemundo Deportes En Vivo, Telemundo, NBC Sports App, USA Network, nbcsports.com (USA) — SKY GO Extra, Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League (UK)
For all your international watching needs, check LiveSoccerTV.com.
Please do not share or discuss links to illegal streams here.
Howay the Lads!