This is probably one of the most enticing clashes of the day after both of these sides experienced such promising campaigns last term. With Newcastle finishing the 2011/12 season in 5th place and Tottenham in 4th, both sets of supporters will be hoping for a year of similar success as they look to build on their European qualification achievements.
It would be fair to say that Newcastle were in a complete state of turmoil several years ago, with their supporters clearly against the direction the club was heading. However, while Alan Pardew and his superiors came in for criticism, they were quietly building a force that happened to challenge some of England’s biggest clubs last year. The Magpies were constantly flirting with the top positions and their fans couldn’t believe their luck when they finished in a lofty 5th spot. Such a finish has increased expectation levels and it now remains to be seen just how Newcastle will fare with so much pressure resting on their shoulders. The Sports Direct Arena have not lost any players through the summer and having recruited several interesting ones from Europe, some believe that Pardew has an even stronger squad at his disposal.
Spurs on the other hand have gone through several changes this summer, with the biggest being the departure of Harry Redknapp. There’s no doubt that there has been a divided reaction to the appointment of Andre Villas-Boas, after the former Porto manager experienced such a disappointing spell in charge of Chelsea last term. However, prior to that stint his reputation was fantastic and Spurs will be hoping that the 34-year-old has learned from his mistakes in English football. The White Hart Lane outfit have managed to bring in several players in over recent months, although the summer has been quite unstable considering Luka Modric’s pushes to leave the club.
While Newcastle fans may be quite optimistic about the new campaign, some will be worried for this clash with Alan Pardew set to be without several key men. The likes of Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa are all doubtful, although Pardew should at least be able to call upon Fabricio Coloccini, Sylvain Marveaux and Steven Taylor with the trio all recovering from their respective knocks. Tottenham on the other hand will not be including Luka Modric, as he prepares to exit the club. Scott Parker and Heurelho Gomes are other absentees, although Andre Villas-Boas can at least hand debuts to Jan Vertonghen and Gylfi Sigurdsson.
As for a prediction, we think this game could end in a draw. Even though Newcastle hold the home advantage, the fact they are without so many key men will hinder them significantly. Bearing this in mind, our tip will be a 0-0 score line.