Predicted Newcastle Starting 11 vs Tottenham
The moment of truth has arrived, what kind of team will United put out for tonight’s match and more importantly, will the Newcastle starting 11 vs Tottenham take us all into a League Cup semi-final for only the second time in our history?
Alan Pardew has already stated that Jak Alnwick will definitely start against Spurs, squashing press speculation that he may be ‘saved’ for Sunday’s derby.
The loss of Daryl Janmaat for this match to suspension is more than a little unfortunate, especially if Alan Pardew also decides to keep somebody like Fabricio Coloccini for Sunday, which I have a sneaking suspicion he will.
I can see Vurnon Anita coming into a much changed back four from Saturday, the Dutchman having perhaps played his best games for Newcastle on the odd occasion he has played right-back. Paul Dummett and Steven Taylor would be the most likely choice in the middle if indeed the captain is rested, with Haidara back in at left-back.
By contrast, Tottenham have more players than they know what to do with and the biggest name they have missing is Emmanuel Adebayor, the striker having been given time off for personal reasons and not match fit. However, that isn’t exactly much of a blow seen as the striker has only scored two Premier League goals, the second/last of which was the consolation one against Newcastle in October.
In fact Spurs are in the strange position of having players who cost tens of millions regularly sitting on the bench, while homegrown ones such as Ryan Mason and Harry Kane show them the way.
Kane is easily Tottenham’s top scorer with ten goals in all competitions and has been marked down as the home side’s biggest threat by Alan Pardew.
Newcastle’s win in October was a strange one as Spurs seemed to approach it with the attitude that it was going to be an easy win and played in a very open and relaxed way. Despite going in at half-time one up, they didn’t really seem focused and could and should have been out of sight by the break with United offering little.
Happily United took advantage and were arguably worth the win by the end, the devastating goal seconds into the second-half punishing Spurs for their complacency and it was a strike that they never really recovered from.
Pardew has suggested that a heavy cold may keep Papiss Cisse out but I think dropping him to the bench would have been on the cards anyway, with the manager previously saying that the striker’s knee problems meant he couldn’t start every match.
I think we could well see Riviere get a call-up and we’ll have to hope he can strike a productive understanding with Ayoze Perez, surely our best chance of grabbing Newcastle the lead tonight.
Moussa Sissoko will surely return after suspension and his partnership with Jack Colback will be key to United’s hopes.
If Pardew plays with two strikers, albeit one (Perez) playing in behind the other, I can’t see him also giving Remy Cabella a game. I hope I’m wrong but I can see more than a few fans getting upset with Yoan Gouffran once again getting a game, the fans’ choice of team having the disappointing Frenchman nowhere near the starting 11.
Tottenham’s win at Swansea on Sunday was their first in four matches and as we discovered earlier this season, they aren’t unbeatable at White Hart Lane.
A big night as well for Jak Alnwick so best of luck to him and the rest of the players, with Sheffield United already through to the semi-finals, just maybe we’ll get a kind draw for once if we get through.
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