Newcastle United secured a quick return to the Premier League last season, which was to be expected given their talented squad and the fact they had Rafa Benitez at the helm for an entire season. The former Liverpool boss remains in charge, and whilst there are rumours of frustration due to a lack of transfer activity, fans of the Toon will be very optimistic about the coming season.
They have made a few new acquisitions, bringing in Norwich winger Jacob Murphy, and former Spanish based defenders Florian Lejeune and Javier Manquillo. They have also secured Christian Atsu on a permanent basis after his loan spell last season, but it seems Benitez would like a star player to lead his team to a comfortable finish before the summer is out.
Still, it could be worse. Tottenham are yet to sign a single new player this summer, whilst the rest of the big guns in the Premier League have been splashing the cash. Instead, Spurs have sold Kyle Walker and Nabil Bentaleb, opting instead to pocket the cash instead of strengthening the squad.
They have managed to keep hold of their star quartet of Dele Alli, Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, and Eric Dier, but considering they couldn’t manage to win the league last season and the majority of the other title contenders have significantly strengthened their squad, there is a danger that Spurs could be left behind this term.
40/1 FST #YourOdds
Gayle and Kane to score, Shelvey and Wanyama to be carded
This could be a very difficult way to start the new season for the visitors too. St James’ Park is always a tough place to visit and the atmosphere will be electric as Newcastle line up for their return to Premier League action.
Spurs did end the season well away from home last season, but they have only kept three clean sheets in their last 14 away days in the Premier League. They have scored in 11 of these too though, but with Newcastle netting in each of their last 14 home matches, I don’t see a clean sheet for Mauricio Pochettino’s men. Backing Both Teams to Score at 3/4 looks a very attractive option.
All eyes will be on Golden Boot winner Harry Kane for the goalscorer markets, but we think there’s a more valuable option. Dele Alli scored an impressive 18 league goals from midfield last season, and nine of those came away from home. His runs into the box cause all sorts of problems, and at a price of 13/8 he looks great value for our goalscorer predictions.
On the balance of things this could be a tight game. Newcastle are historically very good at St James’ Park and have only lost there once in 2017, so backing a draw at 3/1 along with a 2-2 correct score predictions at 16/1 looks a good choice.
Galen – Tottenham
“For the past six consecutive Premier League seasons, our first league game has been away from home (we lost half of these games – W2, D1 and L3). In our past three league fixtures at St James’ Park, we have scored in every game, winning twice and losing once. Both sides have scored in four out of the past six meetings. Harry Kane is desperate to secure a third consecutive Premier League Golden Boot and his pre-season form suggests he will finally score a league goal in August. Newcastle will be keen to announce their return to the Premier League with a convincing home win. Their attacking flair will suit our high-intensity pressing game. However, we are without a first choice right back and I expect Newcastle to exploit this weakness down our right side. This is why I think both sides will score and Tottenham will scrape a narrow win.”
Score prediction: 2-1 Tottenham
Dillan – Newcastle
“I know from a neutral point of view, seeing the almost champions team of last year line up against a newly promoted side, a pretty one sided game is expected, however I don’t expect this to be the case. Spurs are one of those sides we usually ‘turn up’ against, as showed in our last top flight game where we trounced them at home. Judging by each sides transfer business, for Newcastle, I’m expecting the new players to essentially be playing for a place in the side, due to the vast number of players we have. As well as that, Spurs haven’t invested and appear to be replying on their younger, more inexperienced players to step up. Combining that with the fact that our lot should be well up for the game with it being the first of the season could provide a bit of a shock happening on the day. Personally, I believe Spurs lack something in their full back positions, especially with the sale of Walker and the injury to Trippier which will rule him out. If Atsu and Murphy were to start, due to their nature of being so direct, I’d expect them to cause a few problems. Newcastle always have a knack for scoring when at home too, no matter the game, there will usually be a goal or two and Gayle and Mitrovic will both be fighting for that role, so expect whichever one gets the nod to put a shift in. With having the likes of Shelvey in the midfield, there’s also the option for that one killer ball to the played which would create a goal and I do expect him to create plenty of goals this season, especially if he has the big Serb as his target man. Rounding it all up, I’m expecting us to be up for it and for Spurs to be caught off-guard, especially with Pochettino’s neutering habits, taking things a bit easier. I do still expect to bag, having some defined world class players, but I’m expecting a draw.”
Score prediction: 1-1 draw
Newcastle and Tottenham have each won three and lost three of their last six meetings with one another, with four of those seeing both teams get on the scoresheet.
Tottenham have scored in 85% of their last 13 away days in the Premier League, but have only kept a clean sheet in 15% of them. Newcastle have scored in 100% of their last 13 home matches, conceding in 54% of them.
De'andre Yedlin and Jamie Sterry are both sidelined for the start of the season, whilst striker Dwight Gayle is a minor doubt with a hamstring problem too. New signings Jacob Murphy, Florian Lejeune, and Javier Manquillo will hope to make their competitive debuts, and Christian Atsu returns to St James' Park on a permanent basis after his successful loan spell last season.
Long term absentee Erik Lamela remains injured for the visitors, whilst Son Heung-Min and Danny Rose have both been ruled out too. Kieran Trippier and Victor Wanyama are both slight doubts but should be fit to play.