Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Prediction: Newcastle United vs Tottenham Hotspur

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 22 Apr 2023


Verdict: Home win

Best odds: 5/6

Bookmaker: 888sport

Newcastle are set to welcome Tottenham Hotspur at St. James Park on Sunday, in a crunch Premier League duel between two teams competing very directly for a place in the top four at the end of the season. For the hosts, it will be the 31st match of the campaign; 32nd for the visitors.

Newcastle United

It’s been a very long time since the black-and-whites from the north-east of England looked this good in the English top flight. Indeed, they played in the Championship as recently as 2016/17, but since returning to the Premier League the following summer, they established themselves as a proper mid-table side; never really worried about relegation, or European qualification.

However, the club’s ambitions have risen significantly after the takeover by the Saudi-backed Public Investment Fund, and what’s even more worrying for their rivals, their results have picked up notably already, even though it cannot be said that they’ve started spending really big money in the transfer market.

Right now, the Magpies are in fourth place and are obviously eyeing a place in the Champions League next season. They have a three-point advantage over Spurs in fifth, and winning this match would represent a great step towards that goal.

Newcastle were on a great run of form going into the previous round, but then they were stopped at Villa Park as Unai Emery’s resurgent team smashed them 3-0. Before that, they had won five on the trot, beating Wolves 2-1 at home, Nottingham Forest 1-2 away, Manchester United 2-0 at home, West Ham 1-5 away, and Brentford 1-2 away.

Team News

Manager Eddie Howe has demoted winger Ryan Fraser to training with the Under-21 side for the time being. The 29-year-old apparently isn’t quite focused on the task at hand, and Howe says the decision was made for the benefit of the group.

Meanwhile, the season is over for defender Emil Krafth due to a serious knee injury, but the biggest blow to Howe’s ranks at the moment is the absence of winger Allan Saint-Maximin, who is due back from a hamstring injury at the end of the month.

Nick Pope will be in goal, and the former Burnley shot-stopper will have Sven Botman and Fabian Schar as the centre-back pair, flanked by Kieran Trippier and Dan Burn. Sean Longstaff, Joe Willock and Bruno Guimaraes should form the midfield section, and upfront, striker Alexander Isak will have Jacob Murphy on the right, and either Joelinton or Anthony Gordon on the left.

Tottenham Hotspur

It’s definitely been a season of turmoil for Spurs, with Antonio Conte losing his job last month after an angry outburst in which he appeared to have taken a swing at his players as well as the club hierarchy. His role has been given to Christian Stellini, his ex-assistant, on a temporary basis while the club look for a long-term solution.

As has been said, Spurs are fifth with 53 points and trail Newcastle by three, and while they focus on trying to overtake their hosts in this match, the teams behind have ideas of their own. Aston Villa are sixth with 50 points, but the biggest threat, as strange as it may seem to anyone who hasn’t been paying close attention to the Premier League this season, are Brighon and Hove Albion. Sitting in sixth place with 49 points, the Seagulls aren’t just playing fantastic football at the moment; they also have two games in hand on Spurs. Liverpool are next with 47 points and one game in hand, and though the Merseysiders seem set to miss next season’s Champions League, they will surely be in the race for the other two European competitions.

The game which marks the start of Spurs’ last-six run also marked their exit from the Champions League. It was a goalless draw in the second leg of the round of 16 against AC Milan, insufficient due to a 1-0 defeat in the first leg at San Siro. Then came a 3-1 win at home over Nottingham Forest, a 3-3 draw away to Southampton, a 1-1 draw away to Everton, a very fortunate 2-1 win over Brighton, and a shocking 2-3 defeat at home to Bournemouth.

Team News

Stellini won’t be able to call upon midfielders Rodrigo Bentancur, who is out for the season with an ACL tear, or Yves Bissouma, who suffered a nasty ankle injury. Wingbacks Emerson Royal (knee) and Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring) are also out, as is Lucas Moura (red card suspension).

Meanwhile, defenders Ben Davies (hamstring) and Clement Lenglet (unspecified inflammation) are likely to be in contention, having overcome their respective issues.

Defender Davinson Sanchez unfortunately suffered severe abuse from the stands of the Tottenham Hotspur stadium during the Bournemouth game, which forced Stellini to withdraw him from the pitch in the 58th minute to spare him of the ordeal, despite bringing him on from the bench to replace the injured Lenglet in the 35th. It remains to be seen if Sanchez is in the right mental state to play on Sunday.

Hugo Lloris will captain the team from his place between the posts. If Davies is ready to play, he’ll likely take his place on the left side of the back three, with Eric Dier in the middle and Cristian Romero on the right. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Oliver Skipp should pair up in the middle of the park, with Pedro Porro on the right and Ivan Perisic on the left. Harry Kane will be supported by Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski in attack.


With the two teams fighting for a place in the Champions League next season, there’s no doubt that each side will put in their best effort to get as much as possible from this contest, and in such circumstances, and St. James Park as the venue, Newcastle are very likely to put three new points on the board.

Verdict: Home win

Best odds: 5/6

Bookmaker: 888sport


Veselin Trajkovic

Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.



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