Newcastle v Spurs Betting Tips & Preview
Spurs look to justify their barren transfer window, starting at St. James' Park.
Tottenham Hotspur will be hoping this is finally their season for silverware, as they travel up to the North East to face Newcastle United.
An identical opening day fixture to last season – which Spurs won 2-0 at St. James’ Park – this clash looks like it will be a tough assignment for both teams. Magpies boss Rafa Benitez must decide whether to take the game to Spurs, or sit back and try to nick it, similar to their coma-inducing 1-0 defeat to Manchester City at home last season. The patience of the home fans has worn thin with owner Mike Ashley and his lack of ambition, and Benitez knows that only performances on the pitch will appease them.
Spurs will need to show their own fans that their squad is good enough to challenge for the Premier League – which surely has to be their next aim, despite the lack of a single summer signing so far.
Saturday’s clash is looking like a tough one to call. Many of Spurs’ key players have had deep World Cup runs, including Hugo Lloris, Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Jan Vertonghen and Kieran Trippier to name a few, and it’s always tough to gauge, both mentally and physically, where a player is after a long summer of tournament football.
Nevertheless, Newcastle are a mightily unpredictable side whose players are on a ‘media-strike’ over a bonus dispute, which simply cannot be a good thing for their performances on the pitch. With Mauricio Pochettino’s squad being clearly superior to Newcastle’s, we are backing the North London side to seal this one in the second half.
A draw at half-time and a Spurs win at full-time looks like a good prospect.
My gut says Rafa will be perfectly happy to sit back, let Spurs have the ball and hope to hit them on the counter. They will not want to lose their first home game – the old cliché about the St. James’ crowd getting on the backs of the players will come to life if they perform poorly – so they won’t want to take many chances.
Although Newcastle beat Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea at home last season (Arsenal’s away form was horrific and Chelsea were a basket-case for what was Conte’s last league game), Spurs are always solid defensively and I don’t see anyone in that Newcastle side who will reliably score goals. Salomón Rondón is not the answer against Tottenham’s excellent centre-backs.
Because of this, you should find some value in Newcastle not scoring against Spurs.
One man who has been a consistently good performer for Spurs over the last five years is Christian Eriksen. The Dane is a mainstay in Pochettino’s side, accumulating a wealth of goals and assists in the process.
His 10 league goals last campaign is a good return from somebody in his position, helped by being a part of a naturally free-scoring team. Christian Eriksen to score at any time is certainly worth considering.