Tottenham have been a real enigma this season. They have at time played some really attractive football while at times they have looked no more than one of Premiership’s also-rans. With just one win from nine games this season, they are third from bottom in the table as they face a rejuvenated Newcastle outfit under Sam Allardyce.
Sam Allardyce has brought in stability at St. James’ Park. Newcastle are eighth in the table and could go as high as fifth if they win both their games in hand. Apart from the usual absentees in Stephen Carr, Celestine Babayaro, Peter Ramage, Damien Duff and Shola Ameobi, Newcastle will be without stiker-turned-medio Alan Smith who is suspended for picking up five yellow cards. Mark Viduka and Claudio Cacapa will have to pass late fitness tests to play in this one. Joey Barton could make his much anticipated debut for Newcastle in this game while all eyes will be one England striker Michael Owen as he would start up front with Obafemi Martins.
Tottenham have major injury worries. Anthony Gardner, Ledley King, Aaron Lennon, Ricardo Rocha , Wayne Routledge are all on the sidelines. Much talked about England custodian Paul Robinson is also sidelined with a minor injury and will be replaced by Radek Cerny – a move which could be a blessing in disguise given Robinson’s recent form.Unlike Robinson, Robbie Keane has been in red hot form this season and he will be the man to watch out for in the Spurs’ lineup.
My Verdict: Newcastle at home will be too strong to turn over. Although I bank on Tottenham to score, I expect the Geordies to win it by a solitary goal. 2-1 for Newcastle. Owen, Keane and Milner on the scoresheet.