Even if they are still at a safe distance from the bottom three, Newcastle will be desperate to end a five-match losing streak in the Premier League when they host Tottenham on Sunday. Spurs have all but lost any hope of a top 4 finish as they were beaten at home by Aston Villa, but they need to get back to winning ways in order to remain in contention for Europa League berths.
Another disappointing finish to the league campaign has sparked an outrage among the vast majority of club supporters, who are furious at owner Mike Ashley and a good chunk of the Newcastle faithful will boycott the Spurs game. This will make it very difficult for home players to give their best in what is already a very difficult situation, with the Magpies losing each of their last five Premier League fixtures. As much as club fans were happy to see the back of Alan Pardew, the reality is the downtrend in fortunes coincided with the manager’s exit as his successor John Carver has utterly failed to keep the results respectable. In all fairness, the new boss experienced plenty of problems with injuries and suspensions, but that cannot be considered an excuse given the quality of the squad at his disposal. Having scored just one goal in last five matches, Newcastle could really use the services of Moussa Sissoko and Papiss Cisse, but the duo remains unavailable through suspension. The good news is that captain Fabricio Coloccini returns, while summer recruit Siem de Jong could feature for the first time since August.
Tottenham have been unable to move from square one in their attempt to finally secure Champions League qualification, and it is now clear a top 4 finish will remain just a dream. There were some signs of promise in the current campaign, with Harry Kane developing into a genuine leader, but nobody at the club can be satisfied with the outcome of the season. Spurs slipped to seventh in the overall standings as they were beaten at home by relegation-threatened Aston Villa, when a victory would have kept their Champions League hopes alive. Nobody knows whether Tottenham want to be playing Europa League football next season, but if they do, then Spurs will have to try and pile more misery on sorry Newcastle on Sunday afternoon. The problem is that Mauricio Pochettino’s men have now failed to score in two consecutive matches despite playing strugglers Burnley and Aston Villa, so it is by no means a given they will end the barren run at St James’ Park. The manager faces a genuine selection headache due to the fact that Hugo Lloris, Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen and several other players are injury doubts.
Both teams are completely out of confidence and did not score a single goal between them in last two Premier League matches, so chances are we will see a scrappy affair at St James’ Park with chances few and far between.
Verdict: Under 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 1/1
Bookmaker: William Hill