Kick Off: Saturday 9th February
Live on TV: 12.45pm Sky Sports 1
AVB’s Spurs side picked up their first win in 5 games last weekend against West Brom and they’ll be looking to build on that with a victory over a somewhat revived Newcastle side.
The Toon Army travel to White Hart Lane on the back of two grinding victories away at Aston Villa and at home to Chelsea last week. In both of these games it was backs to the wall as they attempted to defend a lead, but in both cases they were successful. But without the 50,000 Newcastle fans cheering them on at St James’ park, can anyone really expect them to travel to Spurs, where they haven’t won for 5 years, and pick up a result?
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Only two teams have travelled to White Hart Lane and picked up 3 points this season so the initial reaction to that question would be “No”. But as Wigan proved back in November, Spurs aren’t unbeatable at home, and with Sandro out until the end of the season and now Huddlestone out for the foreseeable future, Spurs seem to lack the holding midfield player who can at times dictate a match.
Gareth Bale has been out of sorts recently and Defoe just isn’t grabbing the goals that saw him return to the England squad earlier in the season. Spurs just seem to be missing that “spark” that at times has made them unplayable.
So what of Newcastle, or France as they’re now referred to in some sections of the football community?
Well, Alan Pardew may well be mocked for his signings at times but these have made an immediate impact. New man Moussa Sissoko grabbed two goals against Chelsea last weekend and he could well be the player that Newcastle have been missing for a long time; a goalscoring midfielder.
With Ba gone, the pressure is on Cisse to deliver the goals to help keep Newcastle afloat this season. And with Ben Arfa ruled out until mid February with a hamstring problem, Newcastle have been missing that midfielder who wants to bomb forward and get goals. Sissoko seems to be exactly that kind of player and could well feature prominently this weekend.
Both of these sides have been fantastic to watch at times this season, but both have also been woeful. If both Spurs and Newcastle turn up in this early kick off then Saturday could well start with a bang.