Tottenham vs Newcastle premier League preview

Tottenham vs Newcastle Preview: Can Magpies make Spurs’ injuries pay?

A day is a long time at Newcastle United. On Tuesday morning, ahead of their clash with Premier League champions Manchester City, Tyneside’s collective mood was as grey as the skies overhead. But the news that Atlanta United’s Miguel Almiron was en route for a medical ahead of a potential club-record transfer lifted it before kick off.

Salomon Rondon and Matt Ritchie then turned the game on its head in the second half after Sergio Aguero gave City the lead just 25 seconds in. Suddenly, the Magpies head to Wembley to face Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday with great confidence, especially considering Spurs’ growing injury list. As they close on another transfer window with no signings, at the time of writing, Mauricio Pochettino’s men will again be without top scorer Harry Kane and Dele Alli at the weekend.

Neither Spurs’ absentees nor Newcastle’s recent win should change the fact that a home win is most likely in this one. All of the pressure will be on the Champions League chasers, though, which will suit Rafael Benitez perfectly. As he so often does against the bigger sides, the Newcastle boss will set up to sit deep and look to frustrate, before looking for Rondon to bully the defence up front. Read More

Chelsea vs Newcastle

Chelsea vs Newcastle Preview: Can depleted Magpies’ shock the Blues?

Newcastle United fans are used to managing expectations, but their manager, Rafael Benitez certainly isn’t. Not to this level, anyway. It should never be underestimated how surprising it is to see a Champions League-winning manager, somebody who has worked with some of the best players and clubs in the world, battling on even though he knows avoiding relegation is probably the best he can achieve this season.

Sitting just two points above the drop zone with injuries piling up, Newcastle travel to Chelsea on Saturday evening. Benitez can only look on in envy at the squad his opposite number, Maurizio Sarri, has at his disposal, but he continues to get on with his job.

The Spaniard has a self-imposed embargo on his head when it comes to discussing transfers, so most fans are being left in the dark. The inference, though, is that nothing is close to happening, and judging by the previous actions of Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, that does seem about right.

The Magpies are particularly short on central midfielders for the game at Stamford Bridge; given that most games at the top level hinge on the battle in the centre of the park, that is particularly bad news. Read More

Newcastle vs Manchester United Preview: Revitalised Red Devils roll on

A few weeks ago Manchester United supporters may have been looking at their trip to Newcastle as a tricky fixture, which illustrates how much the club had struggled under Jose Mourinho this season, that an away fixture against a bottom half of the table team may be considered a difficult match.

However, there’s is a new sense of optimism now that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has joined the club, with three wins out of three since he was appointed.

Still, while United may be scoring more goals these days, giving them the best goal difference now than at any point previously, the defensive issues continue. There were things that Mourinho got wrong during his time as United boss but insisting that the club needed to follow in the footsteps of their rivals, and spend big on an experienced central defender, was not one of them. Read More

Liverpool vs Newcastle

Liverpool vs Newcastle Preview: Can Rafa spoil the Reds’ festivities?

On November 3rd, when Newcastle United hosted Watford, the situation for Rafael Benitez’s men could hardly have been more precarious. Had they lost at St James’ Park that day, it would have been the first time the Magpies had ever failed to win in their first eleven Premier League games. Victory kick-started their season, and they haven’t looked back since.

Fast forward to Boxing Day, and Newcastle head to Premier League leaders Liverpool in a very favourable position. Avoiding relegation is still the primary target, but 14 points from their last eight games have eased their fears. Benitez is incredibly popular with both sets of fans after six successful years at Anfield, but he will be focussed completely on getting a result and nothing else. Key to the visitors’ chances, in more ways than one, is striker Salomon Rondon. Read More

Manchester United vs Newcastle Premier League Preview

Manchester United vs Newcastle Preview: Not easy for Red Devils

Manchester United missed a chance to get a morale-boosting win as they drew 0-0 at home in the Champions League on Tuesday night. Not that they were the better side, but a win against Valencia would have dragged them from the toxic vortex in which they have been floundering for some time.

Though both teams responded well from their previous domestic clashes, the match ended goalless. United put in a better performance than in their 3-1 defeat against West Ham United, but the problems for Jose Mourinho’s men remain the same. Everything in the red half of Manchester seems irreparable.

The Portuguese coach is constantly under fire from various directions and everything suggests his time at the club is over. Following United’s latest poor performance, Mourinho was heavily criticized by club legends Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes.

The latter was “surprised that he survived after Saturday” and said that Mourinho is “embarrassing the club” at the moment. The whole situation is hugely debatable, as surely nobody can blame only Mourinho for this, nor the players alone either. The problems run far deeper and certainly include the board. As rumours of Zinedine Zidane becoming the new Manchester United coach are rising, Ed Woodward will soon have to make a final decision. Read More

Newcastle vs Arsenal Premier League Preview

Newcastle vs Arsenal Preview: Can Arsenal breakdown a low block?

Arsenal have won two in a row to climb up to the top half of the table. Newcastle have lost two in a row and fallen into the relegation zone. This match is an important one for both teams coming off the first international break of the season.

Newcastle

Here’s their rankings for different statistics this season:

20th – Possession

18th – Shots

19th – Danger Zone Shots

17th – Big Chances

19th – Expected Goals

13th – Dribbles Attempted

4th – Average Pass Length

Rafa Benítez is a really good coach, but one thing he is not is a coach who will sacrifice defensive solidity to create scoring chances. With a challenging schedule including matches at Chelsea and against Tottenham and Manchester City, it is not surprising to see Newcastle at the bottom of most offensive categories this season.

As a team they have been in control of the ball for just 96 minutes this season, which averages out to 24 minutes a match. For comparison the average team has been in control for 34 minutes per match (this measure takes out all of the time that the ball is not in play and on average there is about 60-70 minutes of ball control per match). Read More

Newcastle United vs Chelsea preview

Newcastle United vs Chelsea Preview: Hardest challenge for the Blues

If someone, a month ago, said to Maurizio Sarri that his players will adapt that fast to his ideas, he would not believe it. “For sure, in this moment, we are not at the top of our potential,” he said just ten days ago.

“I hope to be at the top of the potential of the squad in one or two months, but I don’t know. I hope that the second part of the season, for us, will be very good with a lot of points. I expect in the first part of the season some problems.”

Well, it’s early to project anything, but Chelsea leads the Premier League with Manchester City and Liverpool, with two wins and six goals scored. More importantly, we can identify Sarri’s ideas on his players’ behavior already.

Looking at Twelve’s leaderboard, Marco Alonso is the best performer of the team so far, with Jorginho – Sarri’s alter ego – and Pedro, the striker, right behind him. Take also the good job of David Luiz, N’Golo Kanté and Antonio Rudiger and you have the answer of good understanding of Sarri’s ideas. Read More

Newcastle United vs. Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Do Spurs Have Any Players?

Things may well change in the 11th hour but at the time of writing Tottenham haven’t signed a single player. Add to that the majority of the squad going deep in the World Cup and Spurs fans have been treated to one of the most comically irrelevant pre-seasons imaginable.

The vast majority of minutes, that we are told are crucial to building fitness, were absorbed by squad players unlikely to be in Pochettino’s long-term plans and youngsters, who while promising and we are glad to see sight of, are some way off breaking into the squad on a more permanent basis.

With the likes of Harry Kane, Dele, Jan Vertonghen and Hugo Lloris only returning to training this week they may well remain out of the starting XI for the season opener against Newcastle.

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