Ahead of a Super Sunday, read our Tottenham vs Newcastle preview.
A draw is not enough for Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday when they host a rejuvenated Newcastle United side at White Hart Lane.
Spurs are still unbeaten in the Premier League since the opening day of the season, but Mauricio Pochettino’s men have only won one of their last four domestic encounters.
Tottenham have drawn eight of their 15 BPL games so far this season (53.33%) – more than any other team.
Another stalemate on Sunday would leave Spurs at least five points off the top of the table, but a victory would move them above Manchester United into fourth.
Meanwhile, Newcastle can climb out of the relegation zone if they win.
Steve McClaren was under serious pressure this time last week. Heavy defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester City had opened up the Magpies manager to plenty of abuse, but a 2-0 win over Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool answered those critics emphatically.
Newcastle have no new injury issues, so McClaren could stick with the same XI that started that game against Liverpool.
Spurs made seven changes in midweek, but still managed to thrash AS Monaco 4-1 in the Europa League.
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Eric Dier – one of the few Tottenham regulars to feature against Monaco – limped off with a slight knock, but he should be ok to face Newcastle, according to the club’s official website, although Clinton N’Jie and Mousa Dembele are ruled out.
Dier has started every match for Spurs in all competitions this season, apart from one – he missed October’s 0-0 draw with Liverpool through suspension.
Pochettino’s starting XI is usually pretty predictable, but Mousa Dembele’s absence raises one question. Will Tom Carroll come in as a direct replacement for the Belgian, or will Dele Alli drop into a deeper position to make space for Son Heung-min to play alongside Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela?
Many Spurs fans will be excited to see who is on the bench this weekend. Now Nabil Bentaleb and Nacer Chadli are back from injury, Pochettino finally has the opportunity to use his squad properly.
With so many options now available, it will be interesting to see which senior stars are omitted from the matchday party. Andros Townsend is a likely candidate, as is Kevin Wimmer – due to Dier, Kyle Walker and Ben Davies being able to offer emergency centre-back cover.
Spurs have won three of their last four games against Newcastle in all competitions, scoring 13 goals in the process. However, the Magpies have been victorious on each of their two Premier League trips to White Hart Lane in the past two seasons.