Preview Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur 15 July (Wednesday) 6pm.
We couldn’t afford to lose against our bitter rivals if we wanted to prevent this season being a total washout. Even a few crumbs were better than no crumbs.
Putting it mildly Jose Mourinho’s first season at the at the club has not exactly been a success. Hopefully, he can rebuild something for next season.
The win over Arsenal has at least given us a platform to build from. The victory became even more critical as Manchester City’s two-year ban from European football was overturned. Which means that seventh will no longer be enough for a Europa League qualifying spot. We will have have to make up a three-point deficit on Wolverhampton Wanderers in sixth with only three games to go.
We have now won three, drawn two and lost one of our last six matches and in terms of results, since Mourinho succeeded Mauricio Pochettino, we are fifth in the form table. All this has created light at the end of the tunnel – hopefully – and back-to-back wins for the first time since February will confirm that we have every chance of qualifying for the Europa League.
Newcastle’s Premier League form: WDWDLL
Tottenham’s Premier League form: DWLWDW
We are still waiting on the fitness of Alli, who has missed our last few games. Eric Dier remains suspended. Serge Aurier is also expected to miss Wednesday’s clash following the death of his brother in the early hours of Monday. However, Aurier’s absence coincides with the return of Japhet Tanganga, who was among the substitutes against Arsenal.
Mourinho pulled off a tactical stroke against Arsenal by fielding a 4-4-1-1, but a return to 4-3-3 is possible against Newcastle. Which could mean a recall for Erik Lamela.
As for Newcastle; there drop in form has not been helped by several first-team injuries, with Ciaran Clark, Sean Longstaff, Isaac Hayden and Andy Carroll still out. Florian Lejeune is hoping to return to action soon. Danny Rose is ineligible to face his former club. Allan Saint-Maximin picked up a knock against Watford and is hoping to play.
My prediction Newcastle United 0 Spurs 2
Newcastle have lost back-to-back matches; however, we have struggled for consistency pretty much all campaign. But I am hoping that this game will change that for us.