Paul Merson has been taking a look at the Newcastle v Tottenham clash on Saturday.
This time last year he was predicting a ‘cricket score’ at St James Park (see below), with Spurs being the ones piling up the runs/goals.
The scoreline he picked for the start of the 2017/18 season was a 3-0 away win, the eventual result was 2-0 to Spurs, Jonjo Shelvey gifting the game with a daft red card.
Back then, Paul Merson said disaster was on the cards at Newcastle with Mike Ashley not backing Rafa Benitez in the transfer market…
Twelve months later and you have an even bigger joke of a transfer window under the NUFC owner.
However, Paul Merson thinks Newcastle will get a point this time.
This is only though because of Tottenham players taking time to recover from World Cup exertions and then recovery, Merson believing that this will be enough for Rafa to be able to organise his team to ‘hold on this year.’
Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed that he is indeed set to leave some of his World Cup players in London, rather than bringing them to Newcastle. He says they are fit but some are not necessarily match fit – also with a greater chance of injury if they were risked.
He predicts a goalless draw, which would be a major surprise as it is 47 years since the last goalless draw between the teams, at White Hart Lane in 1971, whilst the last one at St James Park was back in 1965.
Paul Merson talking to Sky Sports:
“This is a tough one.
“This was an early game last year, and Spurs got a couple of late goals, but I feel they’ll find it hard due to the World Cup.
“Spurs just haven’t got their players back. Rafa Benitez will make them hard to beat.
“Spurs won’t have the goals early on so Newcastle will hold on this year.
“I’m going for a goalless draw.
“Prediction is Newcastle 0 Tottenham 0.”
The Mag – 10 August 2017:
“Newcastle simply haven’t signed enough players.
“Rafa Benitez has managed at the top of European football and I’m sure he doesn’t have plans to stay in the Premier League by the skin of his teeth following promotion.
“I can see this whole affair at Newcastle coming to an end soon if Rafa continues not to be backed in the transfer market.
“They haven’t spent enough and if it wasn’t for the fans I’d tip them to go down.
“Spurs are as good as anybody in the league and against a Newcastle side, who will have to attack in front of their own fans, this could be a cricket score.
Paul Merson predicts:
Newcastle 0 Tottenham 3
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