Paul Merson predicts that it won’t be an ‘absolute shocker’ for Tottenham at St James Park today but says that if they don’t get at least a draw, then that would be a fitting description.
A match that at one time looked as though it could decide both the title and a relegation spot, has instead turned into a meeting of the also-rans.
Tottenham left 10 points behind Leicester City, whilst Newcastle’s four point gap to the mackems can’t be bridged either.
Whilst Newcastle’s local pride has all but disappeared, apart from the hope that Rafa Benitez sticks around, Tottenham still have it all to play for.
This afternoon presents a rare opportunity for Spurs to finish above Arsenal and with the Gunners looking nailed on to beat Villa at home, a point would be enough for Tottenham to make sure of second…unless Merson’s former club put 13 goals in the Aston Villa net.
If Everton are a fraction as bad as they were at Sunderland on Wednesday night you would fancy Watford to get something at Goodison Park today, which means Newcastle have to also get something today if they are to avoid finishing in 19th.
More than that though the main motivation for Newcastle fans looks clearly to be a final attempt to remind Rafa Benitez of the respect he has quickly built up from the United fanbase, in the hope it might tip him over the edge in agreeing to stay IF Mike Ashley agrees to now start doing things properly at Newcastle United.
With Tottenham having runners-up motivation and Newcastle fans seemingly intent on producing a great atmosphere despite the dire situation at the club, we could all have a surprisingly decent (in the circumstances) occasion to look forward to.
Paul Merson predicts a 1-1 draw and that was the score 20 years ago when the two teams met at St James Park in the final game, on that occasion Newcastle fell just short of winning the title on the last day of the season.
There was massive disappointment back then, I’m not quite sure of what words can describe the shambolic events at Newcastle United that have produced this latest disaster season.
Paul Merson speaking to Sky Sports:
“If Spurs don’t get a draw it would be an absolute shocker.
“I reckon they will get the point they need to finish second.
“Newcastle are down but they have to put on a show for their fans.
“They can’t just go there and lie down after being relegated, they will have to make it a hard game for Tottenham otherwise the fans will get frustrated.”
Paul Merson prediction: 1-1