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Paul Merson verdict on the Newcastle United situation

3 months ago
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Paul Merson has been talking about Newcastle United and the current situation at St James’ Park.

The former Arsenal player speaking, with now approaching the sixteenth NUFC Premier League match of the season.

Eddie Howe and his players having played twenty two matches in total already, in all competitions.

Paul Merson discussing the possibilities ahead of Newcastle United playing away at Tottenham.

Paul Merson speaking to Sportskeeda:

“This is a hard one to call as it depends on what happens between West Ham and Tottenham.

“That said, I just have a feeling Ange Postecoglou’s side will nick this one.

“Newcastle have been outstanding so far, but most of their players are playing out of their skins, so I think things will catch up with them sooner or later.

“The Magpies have a UEFA Champions League clash against AC Milan coming up too, so they’ll have one eye on that game as they are still in with a chance of making it through to the knockout stages.

“They don’t have their destiny in their own hands, so they’ll have to secure a win against the Serie A giants and hope Borussia Dortmund do them a favor against Paris Saint-Germain, so it’ll be an interesting one to keep an eye out for.

“Spurs are on a bit of a bad run, but something tells me they’ll show up and record a narrow 2-1 win.

“Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Newcastle United”

Paul Merson making some fair points there, hopefully his conclusion proving wide of the mark though.

I suppose a lot may depend on exactly which 22 players start the game on Sunday.

Ange Postegoclou was making the point in his pre-match press conference that Spurs as well as Newcastle United have really suffered with players unavailable due to injuries, suspensions, bans, or whatever.

Looking at the missing lists, I reckon Newcastle were missing around 12 on Thursday night for their game at Everton, whilst it looked like eight unavailable for Spurs at home to West Ham.

The Spurs boss also confirmed that now their talisman Son is a doubt as well for this Newcastle match, further complicating any predictions on what will happen in this game.

The thing in Spurs’ favour, as Paul Merson indicates, is that they don’t have a massive make or break Champions League match coming up on Wednesday.

Paul Merson was also at a disadvantage when making the comments and forecast above, as he did them before Thursday night’s matches. Who knows what change, if any, it would have made if he’d done his predictions after Newcastle had lost late on due to those two Trippier errors AND after Spurs had taken the lead at home but lost 2-1 to West Ham.

There are rumours that the likes of Longstaff, Botman and Wilson are all set to become available very soon. Exactly how soon extra players are set to be available could be a massive factor in how exactly Newcastle get on in these upcoming games.

Newcastle have won only one of seven Premier League away games this season but seven of eight at home. So for sure we would be far more confident if this was at St James’ Park.

On the other hand, Spurs have taken the lead in all of their last five PL matches but lost four and drew one, at Man City in the very final stages.

At home, Spurs have lost all of their last three after taking an early lead (in the 6th, 22nd and 11th minutes respectively), going on to concede eight goals across the three defeats without scoring themselves in any of the trio of home matches, after taking these early leads.

Spurs look fragile for sure and the big question is, will Newcastle United be in good enough shape to take advantage?

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