NEWCASTLE VS TOTTENHAM
DATE: SUN, 13 AUG, 17 @1:30PM
VENUE: ST JAMES’ PARK
Tottenham Hotspur are on the march again for a Premier League title challenge against Newcastle at St James’ Park on Sunday.
The happiness of the Magpies’ return to the Premier League with manager, Rafael Benítez appears to be waning recently, though.
And that is as a result of owner, Mike Ashley’s puzzling shrewdness when it comes to signing of quality players.
Inspite of that, though, Tottenham’s gaffer, Mauricio Pochettino has also had transfer market problems of his own during this summer.
The transfer situation of the Lilywhites is even worse off as they are yet to land any player this summer.
Both clubs will, however, put their transfer worries aside while hoping to start the 2017/18 season on a good note.
This will, therefore, make for a very enticing and intriguing Premier League contest at St James’ Park come Sunday afternoon.
And that is particularly the case as Spurs will presumably want revenge for their 5-1 thrashing back in May, 2016.
On that very occasion, the result led to the North London outfit finishing in the third position on the table.
But due to the difference in quality between the two sides, very few will expect a repeat of that scoreline.
And indeed, Benitez would probably be very ecstatic if his charges can at least secure one point right at home.
But the Spanish tactician should know the fear of Dele Alli and Harry Kane could be the beginning of wisdom.
Furthermore, Spurs will want a win so as to continue from where they left off last season while finishing second.
But Tottenham themselves should know that they will be up against the winners of the English Football Championship last season.
The duo of winger, Jacob Murphy and defenders, Javier Manquillo and Florian Lejeune could make their debuts for Newcastle.
Striker, Dwight Gayle is set to return despite a recent hamstring issue but DeAndre Yedlin misses out with same problem.
Tottenham right full-back, Kieran Trippier picked up minor ligament damage last weekend and will not feature together with Georges-Kevin Nkoudou.
The duo of Spurs left full-back, Danny Rose and winger, Erik Lamela are still very much out with long-term injuries.
Newcastle have won just an opening-day game across their last nine Premier League seasons (D4, L4).
But that one and only victory was against their opponents on Sunday, Tottenham and it was 2-1 in 2012.
Spurs striker, Harry Kane has hit the net 20 times in his last 15 Premier League outings against promoted teams.
The England international is, however, yet to register a goal in the Premier League in the month of August.
Meanwhile, Kane needs just a goal more to get to 100 across all competitions for Spurs.
Both sides have scored 14 goals between themselves in their last three Premier League clashes at St James’ Park.
Benitez has not lost any of his previous eight Premier League matches at home against Spurs (W5, D3, L0).
What the managers say
Rafael Benitez: “The main message from me is to get behind the players, they will give everything for the club.
“And myself and my staff will equally make sure that we all do the very same thing.”
Mauricio Pochettino: “We’re calm, the team is ready to compete, last week against Juventus at Wembley, we showed a very good level.
“We cannot have any major concern or worry about our performance at this stage, though.”