Tottenham v Newcastle United – Match Preview
Saturday 9 February 2012 12.45pm Live On SKY
How good does it feel actually looking forward to going into a match against one of the best teams in the Premier League?
Obviously there is no guarantee of one point never mind three but the big difference is now that we can see possibilities.
The two wins against Villa and Chelsea have ticked a lot of boxes, the main one of course being putting a few more points clearance between ourselves and the relegation zone.
However, the other side benefits are of course that confidence is flooding back into the manager, players and of course, the supporters. The players have belief once again and the only big disappointment for me today will be if Newcastle don’t go out today and have a real go at Spurs.
Villas-Boas looks to have done a good job after his nightmare at Chelsea and given them every chance of Champions League qualification, currently tehy are fourth with a three point gap over Everton in fifth.
However, they are one point behind third placed Chelsea and Newcastle showed last week that they could not only beat the blues but also match them throughout a ninety minutes in the general play. Last Saturday’s win wasn’t a fluke, United matched Chelsea and edged it in all areas, including clear chances.
Only Wigan and Chelsea have won at White Hart Lane, though they have drawn another four of their home matches, so there is encouragement there.
While Alan Pardew has no real injury problems apart from Ben Arfa, plus no reported problems from players away on international duty, Villas-Boas has both.
Top scorer Defoe is out for the next few weeks and Kaboul is expected to still be missing, while Adebayor has very publicly messed his club around thanks to the delayed return from the African Nations.
It has been speculated that Spurs may play star man Gareth Bale through the middle with Clint Dempsey, if Adebayor is left on the bench. Otherwise we are likely to see Mathieu Debuchy’s defensive capabilities really put to the test, though he would have assistance from hard working players such as Gouffran and Gutierrez, depending on our formation.
The big decision is whether to put Tiote straight back in and to me it is an easy decision, not because James Perch has let us down but you need your best players when up against the best teams. It isn’t like Cheick has been out injured, he’s been playing and performing well in competitive matches and I expect him to thrive once again, now we have better players around him and he can concentrate on his own game.
Maybe the biggest difference with Newcastle in recent matches is that at long last we look to have a goal threat from a number of positions and it would be no surprise to see any of Cisse, Sissoko, Gouffran or Cabaye on the scoresheet. After seeing Jonas soar above John Terry I can now foresee goalscoring possibilities from all kinds of other unlikely sources.
We’ve had a Jonas header and a win after recovering from a losing position, the first in over two years. Maybe the last taboo can be broken today and we’ll see a league goal from a corner, if that happens then maybe we can really start to dream.
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