Tottenham Hotspur-Newcastle United Preview
Tottenham's experience from last season will count for nothing when they face Newcastle United on Sunday, according to Cristian Stellini.
Spurs head to St James' Park looking to stay in the chase for Champions League qualification.
Stellini's side are fifth, three points behind Newcastle in the top four, having played a game more and possessing an inferior goal difference.
Defeat to Newcastle would leave Tottenham six points adrift and facing a huge uphill battle, but they can at least recall how the previous season ended.
Spurs chased down Arsenal, aided by a Newcastle win over the Gunners, to finish in the top four.
Meanwhile, Newcastle have not been in contention for a European finish in more than 10 years. However, Stellini does not see that being a factor.
"No, there's no advantage in this type of game," he said. "We have to play the game mentally and both teams are going strong. I don't think during the game when you are into the pitch you think about something mentally like an advantage.
"You have to play strong, you have to beat your opponent, win the duels, and this is the power you have to create into the pitch."
"Power" was the word of the day on Friday as Spurs suffered a power outage at their training ground, while Stellini described St James' Park as "one of the worst stadiums to play in for the atmosphere's power".
Newcastle coach Eddie Howe certainly hopes that will be the case this weekend.
"We're pleased to be at home, and hopefully we can feel the force of the crowd," Howe said. "This week we certainly need everyone united in the game, which I'm sure we will be, and hopefully we can respond to last week's disappointment (at Aston Villa)."
Newcastle United – Callum Wilson
Newcastle will surely make changes after losing 3-0 at Villa last week, so might one of those see Wilson return to the XI? He has six goals and two assists in his past nine league starts, and he opened the scoring both in the reverse fixture and in the corresponding game last season.
Tottenham – Son Heung-min
After netting against both Brighton and Hove Albion and Bournemouth, Son is looking to score in three straight league games for the first time this season. In fact, prior to netting three in just his past five outings, the winger had scored only twice all season. Spurs need him firing as they struggle to stay in contention.
- Newcastle are looking to complete a double over Spurs for the first time since 2015-16, but that was also the last time they won this fixture at St James' Park.
- The Magpies will at least hope to respond to the Villa defeat, with the past two examples of them losing back-to-back matches coming against Liverpool and Manchester City.
- A draw would not do a great deal for Tottenham, who are winless in four away from home and last won outside of London in the league in October.
Newcastle 32.1 per cent
Tottenham 39.1 per cent
Draw 28.8 per cent
Updated April 21, 2023