Today’s game at White hart Lane is a massive game for Newcastle United.
And it’s not that we will be at full strength today either, since we’ll be missing Yohan Cabaye through suspension, Cheick Tiote because he’s still at the African Cup of Nations, and Ryan Taylor and Leon Best are both injured – with Leon likely out for the season with his knee ligament injury.
But Newcastle have won their last two league games at Blackburn and at home to Aston Villa without the two top central midfielders, and it would be something if Newcastle can get their third successive league win at Tottenham this afternoon.
That will be difficult because not only are Tottenham in good form, but they are very good at White Hart Lane and have 29 points from their 12 home games in the league so far this season.
And Spurs have only one single defeat at White Hart Lane – that 5-1 hammering by Manchester City in their very first home game of the season.
It’s not surprising that Tottenham are odds on favorites to get the win, but Newcastle have surprised teams this season with some of their top performances, and we are hoping that today could be one of those days.
Tottenham looked a good side when we managed that 2-2 draw with them at St. James’ Park in mid- October, but we needed that fine equalizer after 86 minutes from Shola Ameobi to get the point, and it’s surprisingly Shola’s only goal of the season so far.
Spurs are in 3rd position in the league table with 50 points from 24 games, and are 5 points behind Manchester United and 7 points behind Manchester City, so they will be seeing this game this afternoon as 3 points to keep up with the big boys.
Newcastle are 8 points back with 42 points and are in 5th position, two points above Arsenal and 3 points above Liverpool.
For Newcastle, it is an opportunity to show just how good this new side Alan Pardew is building is right now, and whether they can beat one of the top sides in England on their home turf.
Ryan Taylor and Leon Best were both taken off in the first half last Sunday against Villa, and both are not available for the game today, with Leon looking like he will be out for the rest of the season with his damaged knee ligaments, and Sammy Ameobi is also not available for this game through injury.
Steven Taylor and Sylvain Marveaux are probably both out for the season, and James Tavernier (MK Dons) , Alan Smith (MK Dons) and Haris Vuckic (Cardiff City) are all out on loan.
But we think the team almost picks itself this afternoon, and we expect this eleven to start this afternoon at 5:30 pm in north London:
Simpson Coloccini (c) Williamson Santon
Obertan Perch Guthrie Gutierrez
Subs: Harper Ferguson Kadar Ben Arfa Gosling Lovenkrands Ameobi (Sh)
Whoops – I had initially missed out Ben Arfa as a sub – my error.
It’s hard to come up with the subs for today’s game, with so many of our players being unavailable.
10 players – Steven Taylor, Sylvain Marveaux, Cheick Tiote, Ryan Taylor, Leon Best, Yohan Cabaye, Sammy Ameobi, Alan Smith, James Tavernier and Haris Vuckic – are all not available today for one reason or another today.
Three of those – Ryan Taylor, Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye should be available for our next game in two weeks time at home to Wolves.
The keys to the game today are as follows:
- The defense can be solid and not make any silly mistakes and keep compact, and not let top wingers Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon get around the back of the defense
- Danny Guthrie and James Perch can hold their own in the center of the field against Spurs’ star midfielders Scott Parker and Luka Modric
- Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse can continue scoring goals from half chances
If Newcastle can do the above three things adequately, then who knows, perhaps we’ll shock everybody and get something out of this game.
When you look at the remaining 14 league games of the season, this is definitely one of the hardest fixtures the lads still have to play – but you never know.
Howay The Lads!!