Match Preview, Crystal Palace vs Tottenham.

Match date & time: Saturday 10th January 2015. 5:30pm GMT Kick Off.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Selhurst Park.

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1. World wide TV listings HERE.

Exiting the festive period, we have left ourselves in a great position to pursue a great season. After going 7 games unbeaten in all competitions, we have found ourselves just two points off the top four, and still in every competition we can be involved in, including the semi finals of the Capital One Cup, with a real chance to go to Wembley and challenge for coveted silverware. In these recent seven games unbeaten, it looks as though the players have really found their form, and Mauricio Pochettino has found something of his best 11, or at most best first team, match day squad of eighteen. We have been injury free, and competition for places means that our squad looks hungry and ready to fight entering into the final half of the season. Our next six games are favourable, but massive. We have the chance to go to Wembley against Sheffield United, but also we have to continue this unbeaten run, and keep momentum ticking over into the second half of the season. This all starts with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, who are a difficult proposition at home, and with a new manager, and his first home game, he will be looking to make a good impression; and the players could rise to the occasion. But, if we play the way we know we can, and emulate a performance of the calibre of our 5-3 win over Chelsea, the we should have no problem in seeing off Crystal Palace. There is no doubt Palace will try to make it as difficult as possible for us on their home turf, with the crowd behind them – we have a really difficult task ahead of us, but we need to be professional, and get the job done and move on. It’s crucial we don’t let the momentum that we have dither.

Palace have struggled this season, which was expected after Tony Pulis left them just before the start of the season. Neil Warnock replaced him, but he only lasted half of the season before Alan Pardew stepped up and took the job, to the surprise of many leaving Newcastle – a much safer side with better players. Crystal Palace sit 18th in the Premier League, inside the relegation spots, and Pardew has a big job to keep them up, which means he will be looking to start strong, and transform Selhurst Park into the fortress it became last season under Tony Pulis; and that, Pardew will be hoping, will start with us. Palace have only won once in their last 14 Premier League games, and are without a win since their victory over Liverpool at Selhurst Park eight games ago, back in November. This barren spell led to manager Neil Warnock losing his job, and being replaced by Alan Pardew. In our last game against Crystal Palace, we drew 0-0 at the Lane, in an exciting, but frustrating game in which Palace did really well to counteract our offensive prowess. It wasn’t our finest game but Palace really turned up and probably deserved more from the game. In our last game at Selhurst Park, we won 1-0 on the first day of last season; with Roberto Soldado getting the only goal from the spot. I think this time around, we will want to break down the Palace defence a little more, and finish off the game as early as possible. If we have a slow start, Palace could easily grow into the game and dig in, which would make our task harder than it has to be. Last time we faced an Alan Pardew side, it was against Newcastle at the Lane in the Capital One Cup quarter final, in which we won comfortably 4-0; hopefully Pochettino’s men can recreate a similar scoreline against Pardew’s new side.

The team news for CrystaL Palace is that their midfield menace Yannick Bolasie, and midfield hard man Mile Jedinak will both be absent for Alan Pardew’s first Premier League game in charge as they are both on international duty; and they will be a huge miss for Palace, as they are both arguably their most important players, and Yannick Bolasie caused us all sorts of problems in our last encounter at the Lane, and I am sure our defence will be glad not having to face him once again. Mile Jedinak is the leader of the side, the hard man, but also the orchestrator of it all from his deep position in the centre of midfield; he is a touch of class in an otherwise below average Palace side, and I am sure they will miss him dearly; hopefully we can make his absence count. Other than those absentees, James McArthur (knock), Marouane Chamakh (hamstring) and Glenn Murray (ankle) are all slight doubts for the Eagles, but are expected to at least make the squad. With the absence of Bolasie and Jedinak, Palace will have to rely offensively on the talents of Wilfried Zaha, who is on loan from Manchester United and has undoubted talent on the ball. His end product is questionable, but on his day he can be a big threat to any defence, and Pardew will be hoping he can be the man to help his side create chances, and use his pace to stretch our defence. Up front, Palace have a wealth of options, from Chamakh to Doyle, to Campbell to Murray and the to Dwight Gayle, and all of these strikers aren’t exactly prolific, but they still pose a threat given the correct service, but if we can nullify the supply, we can isolate the striker and then we should get most of the fun in the match. There’s no doubting that this Crystal Palace side will put in a massive shift to prevent us from scoring, and will look to hit us on the counter with the pace of Zaha and Gayle; we will have to make sure to score early and then hopefully we can take command of the game.

The team news for Tottenham is that Nail Bentaleb has joined up with his Algerian team mates for the African Cup of Nations and so will be absent from this game. DeAndre Yedlin isn’t ready after only joining up with the side on Wednesday, with Ryan Mason (hamstring) & Erik Lamela (calf) out of the game through injury. With Mason and Bentaleb out, it’s a chance for Mousa Dembele and Benjamin Stambouli to stake a claim for first team football, and hopefully they can grab their chance and put in a good display.

There is no hesitating when asked who the key man for Tottenham is at the moment; Harry Kane has been nothing short of sensational so far this season and we rely upon him for goals, but it’s not only his goals, but it’s his overall contribution of assists, hold up play and his incredible work rate, which makes him so valuable to us, and he is developing into a wonderful player with a massive future. Another player in a rich vain of form is Nacer Chadli, who has 9 goals and 4 assists so far this season and has been a revelation with his contribution, and has established himself as an incredibly important player to us, to have a midfielder who can get 10 goals plus a season alongside Christian Eriksen. In defence, Federico Fazio and Jan Vertonghen have been in stellar form as a unit, and our back five as a whole is beginning to take shape with Kyle Walker back from injury and Ben Davies and Danny Rose competing valiantly for a place at left back, and our results prove that continuity and understanding within the side and at the back is leading to consistency in our results, and hopefully no injuries will disrupt the flow of thew side and the squad, and we can continue to produce good results and climb the table. On the wing, with Erik Lamela out, and Aaron Lennon seemingly on his way out, an opportunity has arisen for Andros Townsend to stake a claim on the right wing after being a bit part player for quite a while he has the chance to put a run of games together and hopefully rediscover some form that he had early on last season.

Match stats & facts provided by Opta:

– Crystal Palace have gone eight Premier League games without a win (W0 D5 L3).

– Tottenham Hotspur have recovered more points from losing positions than any other team in the Barclays Premier League (12).

– The Eagles have failed to score in five of their last seven Premier League matches.

– Harry Kane has scored five goals in his last five Premier League matches.

– Palace have failed to score in their last three Premier League games against Spurs.

– Spurs have won six and lost just one of their last nine Premier League matches.

– Harry Kane has the best minutes/goal ratio of any player to score at least five PL goals for Tottenham (149, Klinsmann 169).

– Crystal Palace have committed more fouls than any other team in the Premier League this season (270).

– Spurs have conceded more penalties than any other club in the top flight (5).

– Kevin Doyle has scored four goals against Tottenham, his joint-highest tally against any Barclays Premier League opponent (along with Fulham).

It’s a massive game to continue our recent form, and it would be lovely to go eight games unbeaten. Crystal Palace are a tough proposition, but we have what it takes to break them down and come out as victors. The game is being shown live on Sky Sports 1, but I will be providing match updates including goal updates, photos and videos. Follow me on twitter for it all, @AddictedToSpurs. Let’s get another three points! COYS!!

My predicted/preferred team to face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park:
Walker – Fazio – Vertonghen – Rose
Stambouli – Dembele
Townsend – Eriksen – Chadli

Mauricio Pochettino speaks to the press ahead of Palace:

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Newcastle.

Match date & time: Wednesday 17th December 2014. 7:45pm GMT KO.

Competition: Capital One Cup Quarter Final.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

TV: Not televised in the UK. Worldwide TV listings HERE.

After our 2-1 away win against Swansea in the Premier League on Sunday, our focus quickly turns to the Capital One Cup Quarter Final at the Lane. For me, it’s our biggest game of the season so far. To make it into the semi finals would be a big achievement – and being three games away from Wembley is tantalising. At White Hart Lane, we have to be hoping that we will make the Semi-Finals, but, against a decent Newcastle side who have already beaten us at the Lane this season, we cannot underestimate the threat that they possess. Our home form has been difficult this season to say the least, but in the cups, we are unbeaten, so hopefully we can continue that form and triumph into the semi-finals. Realistically, it will be a very hard competition to win, but in one off games, anything can happen if we take it seriously. This close to the Final, it’s necessary to put out a strong, competitive side, even with the amount of games thrown our way during the Christmas period. A trophy is something that would give the club a lift like nothing else can. People have banged on about the top four and the Champions League for a long time, but I think fans are starting to realise that whether or not we get in, it’s almost impossible to win. So what’s the point? A trophy is a memory that can last a life time, and goes down in the history books. It’s what football fans crave – a day at Wembley. A glory, glory night. There is a long way to go, though, and first, Newcastle stand in our way.

Newcastle are a decent side, with good quality players. They sit 8th in the Premier League, and in 10 games they have only lost twice. Including wins against Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea. They cannot be underestimated, as I say. In the last round of the Capital One Cup, Newcastle travelled to Manchester City as big underdogs, but came away from the game as 2-0 winners at the Etihad and secured a place in the Quarter Finals. This just highlights how difficult the game will be for us – but we’ll be hoping that they won’t recreate the form showed against Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham, but instead recreate the result of when they last visited North London and faced our rivals – Arsenal – as they fell to a 4-1 defeat at the Emirates. If we can find our form, if we are direct and show the quality that we possess, we can triumph and get through – but, if we are too relaxed, slow and complacent, then Newcastle will come to the Lane and steal the dream of Wembley away from us before it’s even been comprehended. In our last two games against Newcastle at White Hart Lane, we have lost both by one goal – so we’ll be looking to buck the trend before this becomes a habit!

The team news for Newcastle is that goalkeepers Tim Krul (ankle) and Rob Elliott (hip) are both ruled out, while Ryan Taylor (knee), Gabriel Obertan (hip), Siem De Jong (thigh), Davide Santon (knee), Curtis Good (groin) and Rolando Aarons (hamstring) are all ruled out, while Mehdi Abeid (ankle) will undertake a late fitness test ahead of the game. Also, right back Daryl Janmaat (suspended) is out of the game. Newcastle have some good players, and none are better than driving midfielder Moussa Sissoko; he has power, pace and can effect games and change their momentum – and we saw the brute force of that the last time Newcastle made the journey to White Hart Lane, as he changed the game in Newcastle’s favour with his driving runs and quality on the ball. To deal with him, it’s important that we enforce our midfield upon them, and make sure that we are efficient on the ball and are energetic defensively to counter act Sissoko’s big threat. Another of Newcastle’s big threats, scored against us in our last fixture – Ayoze Perez has pace, technique and energy up front, as well as the ability to stretch a defence and run in behind – not forgetting his eye for goal, and he’s netted 4 goals in 8 games, including 3 against Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham.

IMG_3141.JPG The team news for Tottenham is that Emmanuel Adebayor (match fitness), is out of the game. And that’s it. Hurrah! Kyle Naughton has returned to the squad after injury and completes a full squad, excluding the absence of Emmanuel Adebayor. It really is important, coming into the Christmas period, that we have fully fit squad to choose from, and hopefully the players step up and play & train for their places in the first team. We’re very lucky to have a fully fit squad; and now we have to utilise that to our advantage and put a run of results together, building consistency.

It’s difficult to predict what sort of starting eleven Mauricio Pochettino will select in this game – as it is difficult timing in between extremely important Premier League fixtures, and we all know that Pochettino preaches his faith in the squad, and isn’t afraid to make changes and use his team – but, we also have to take into consideration that this is as big as a Premier League game, if not bigger – and the fans will want a performance as well as most importantly – a result. It’s a big game for our fringe players as well as our key players, as it is an opportunity for them to showcase their talents, as it is every time they step on the pitch. The players that I’m referring to are Mousa Dembele, Etienne Capoue, Aaron Lennon and Benjamin Stambouli, who all in my opinion have the quality to be in the Premier League first team, but have a fight on their hands with the performances of the likes of Nabil Bentaleb, Ryan Mason, Nacer Chadli and Christian Eriksen – which is a tall order for the fringe players. The key player in this game, excluding Harry Kane, who is likely to be rested, is Nacer Chadli who if he finds his form again, can win us a game with his goals and ability on the ball. It’s likely that Nacer will play just behind Roberto Soldado, which if they can form an understanding, could be quite a profitable partnership.

It’s a big game! I hope White Hart Lane will find it’s voice for a Quarter Final of a major domestic trophy. The game isn’t televised. I will be attending the game, but I will attempt to update as much as possible from the stands. Hopefully I’ll be reporting a win! Follow me on Twitter for it all, here: @AddictedToSpurs. COYS!!

My predicted/preferred team to face Newcastle at the Lane:
Naughton – Dier – Vertonghen – Rose
Capoue – Dembele
Lennon – Chadli – Townsend

Mauricio Pochettino’s pre Newcastle press conference:

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Newcastle.

Match date & time: Sunday 26th October 2014. 1:30pm GMT.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

TV: Not televised in the UK. Worldwide TV listings HERE.

The Premier League returns to White Hart Lane this Sunday, with Newcastle the visitors. A big opportunity to get back to winning ways in the League and build on some good performances in recent times, most recently the 5-1 win over Asteras Tripolis in the Europa League. Our ability to be clinical and efficient in front of goal is something that has been under criticism so far this season, with our strikers getting just 1 goal so far in the Premier League, we have to finish chances if we want to be anywhere near the top four this season. This game is very important as to not fall too far behind the leading pack in the Premier League; we currently sit 10th in the League, 5 points off West Ham in 4th after they beat Manchester City on Saturday. It’s incredible what a win can do for you in this League, and if we do get the win we get the momentum, and also go very close to the top four. At home, against a Newcastle team that is very temperamental, it’s easy to expect a win, and I’m confident of one, but the players must put in a good performance and be professional as Newcastle have good players that can cause problems for us.

Newcastle sit 18th in the Premier League, in the relegation places. It’s been a very difficult season for the Toon, with Alan Pardew taking the brunt of the criticism from the Geordies. So far this season, in 8 games, they have won just 1, drawn 4 and lost 3. That win came last week against Leicester, a scrappy 1-0 win with Gabriel Obertan getting the winner. Draws coming to Swansea, Hull, Crystal Palace & Aston Villa and the 3 losses coming to Manchester City, Stoke & Southampton. It’s been poor from Newcastle’s point of view, but they have been slowly improving and should have gained confidence from their first Premier League win last time out against Leicester. Despite being in the relegation zone, it’s hard to see a club the size of Newcastle could ever be relegated and I expect them to regain form and have an average, mid table season. They have decent players but do lack grit, raw pace and goal-scorers. Last time we faced Newcastle, we beat them 4-0 at St James’ Park, Emmanuel Adebayor with 2, Paulinho & Nacer Chadli with the others, one of our best performances of last season, hopefully we can repeat that scoreline. But, we’ll be hoping to avoid a slip up that occurred last time the Toon travelled down to North London, with Loic Remy grabbing the goal that sunk Tottenham 1-0 at the Lane last year.

Injuries haven’t been kind to Newcastle so far this season; 11 players have been accredited with knocks or long term injuries, but a few players should return and make the squad for the game this Sunday. Confirmed as out of the game are Siem De Jong (thigh), Jonas Gutierrez (cancer), Roland Aarons (hamstring), Davide Santon (knee) and Chris Good (groin). There are late fitness tests for Papiss Cisse (knee), Chiek Tiote (calf) and Emmanuel Riviere (knock), three very important players for Newcastle. Back after injury are Ryan Taylor, Paul Dummett and Mike Williamson, though, which will be a boost defensively for United.

Newcastle have some very talented players, but it is upfront where Papiss Cisse holds the Goalscoring key for United, he had an incredibly poor season last term, but after returning from injury he has hit a little bit of form and looks to be the only Newcastle player capable of hitting the back of the net; he has 4 goals in 4 games so for this season, with a braces against Hull and Swansea. He has the ability to score goals, he’s shown that many times in the Premier League, especially in his first season when he was a revelation, but he lacks confidence at times and possibly the strength and pace to dominate defenders. Creatively, they lack quality, but Moussa Sissoko does have the pace and strength to cause problems from midfield, and Remy Cabella has shown glimpses of quality on the ball, but lacks that decisive edge and strength for the Premier League, and he’s without an assist or goal so far this season. I believe Newcastle lack quality throughout their team, and for a lack of quality they don’t make up for it in heart and character, which is a definite problem for Newcastle and their fans.

The team news for Tottenham is that Federico Fazio (suspended), Kyle Walker (abdominal), Kyle Naughton (ankle) and Nabil Bentaleb (ankle) are all out of the game, while Younes Kaboul, Ryan Mason and Danny Rose will all return to the squad after being rested for the game against Asteras Tripolis in midweek.

Harry Kane grabbed a hat-trick in midweek in the Europa League, and has 10 goals in 14 appearances for club and country. That’s a brilliant tally for a 21 year old still learning his trade and growing into his role at the club. For me, Harry Kane has to start up top in this game, he has the confidence, and momentum to be a very important player for Tottenham, starting with this Sunday against Newcastle, I hope. He’s the only striker that deserved a starting berth in my opinion, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Roberto Soldado start up front again after being rested in midweek. Erik Lamela was sensational against Asteras Tripolis, with 2 fantastic goals, but his Premier League form has been quite inconsistent, and he needs to get his first Premier League goal sooner rather than later, and I think that would kickstart not only his season, but his Tottenham career. In midfield, Ryan Mason has been a revelation since he won his place in the team, he looks forward, passes well, makes very direct runs and works very hard with his tackles and interceptions. He fits Pochettino’s pressing system very well and he seems to have really made himself one of the first names on the team sheet alongside Hugo Lloris, Etienne Capoue & Christian Eriksen. Christian Eriksen has really grown into his new role in the team, alongside Nacer Chadli and Erik Lamela; he is now starting to pop up, control games and contribute goals, now he can hopefully push on even further.

Match facts & stats provided by Opta:

– Tottenham have scored at least once in 18 of their last 19 Premier League games against Newcastle.

– None of the last 17 league meetings between these sides at White Hart Lane has ended as a draw.

– After winning four successive Premier League games in London between May 2013 and January 2014, Newcastle have lost their last three in a row, failing to score in each match.

– Christian Eriksen has scored in his last two Premier League appearances but it yet to assist a goal in the top-flight this season (last year he provided eight assists).

– Roberto Soldado has assisted as many Premier League goals as he has scored (6).

– Tottenham have conceded nine Premier League penalties in 2014, more than any other team.

– Papiss Demba Cisse has scored four goals and assisted one more in four Premier League appearances in 2014-15.

– Six of Tottenham’s 10 goals this season have come before half-time, while Newcastle have the highest proportion of second half goals in the division in 2014-15 (75%; 6 of 8).

– The average length of Newcastle’s goals this season has been 9.02 yards, the shortest distance of any of the 20 teams in the division.

– Newcastle have displayed the most effective offside trap in the Premier League this season (22 opponents snared).

Big game, with a big 3 points up for grabs. Crucial we stay with the pack at the top and also win to improve further our home form. On the 10th anniversary of Bill Nicholson’s passing, I hope the players are told about his values and what he means to this club and it’s fans. The atmosphere hopefully is a special one and we can get a result that reflects what Mr Tottenham would have wanted! Remember if you’re attending the game to wear white in tribute to Bill Nicholson. The game isn’t televised in the UK, but I’ll be giving match updates, photos, videos and more at my Twitter account; @AddictedToSpurs, follow me there for it all!

My predicted/preferred team to face Newcastle at the Lane:
Dier – Kaboul – Vertonghen – Rose
Capoue – Mason
Lamela – Eriksen – Chadli

Mauricio Pochettino briefly previews the Newcastle game:

Match Review, Newcastle United vs Tottenham.

Match: Wednesday 12th February 2014.

Venue: St James’ Park.

Competition: Premier League.

Result: Newcastle 0-4 Tottenham.

Tottenham goals: Emmanuel Adebayor 19′, 82′, Paulinho 53′ and Nacer Chadli 88′.

What a stunning win, but it’s not just how many goals we scored, it’s how we scored them, and the way we performed all game with high pressure in midfield, that creative spark in the final third and resilience at the back. That performance had it all, very very impressive. After starting slowly against Everton last week, Tim Sherwood demanded a fast beginning and that’s exactly what we got, we made good chances very early on through Adebayor and Paulinho, but we got the breakthrough on 19 minutes, Nabil Bentaleb was strong down the left wing and brushed off Moussa Sissoko, got a dangerous cross into the box and Tim Krul palmed the ball straight into the path of Emmanuel Adebayor, who tucked home easily. We had to rely on our defensive solidity for the rest of the first half, Hugo Lloris making top saves and keeping us in the lead, as well as Jan Vertonghen, Younes Kaboul and Etienne Capoue working hard to make sure chances weren’t created. In the second half we started quickly once again, harrying and pressurising Newcastle into mistakes, and we had the majority of possession. On 53 minutes, great link up play between Paulinho and Adebayor ended up with Adebayor taking a shot, which Tim Krul parried straight into Paulinho’s feet and gave him an easy chance to make it 2-0, and he did, a good little finish and the crucial goal to give us a comfortable lead. I think we cruised the rest of the game, Newcastle were down beat, and so were their fans, apart from more Hugo Lloris saves they didn’t really look like scoring, we were dominant and as the game went on we made more and more chances and therefore, got more goals! In the last 10 minutes we were ruthless. At 82 minutes, Andros Townsend was put in on goal, but his shot was again parried by Tim Krul, but it wasn’t so easy for Adebayor this time, a volley in which he had to power it into the ground so to bounce it over Tim Krul, 3-0, brilliant, job done. Nacer Chadli has had a difficult first season, but he got his first Premier League goal, and it was an absolute stunner, I’m so pleased for him as I can imagine it’s been really difficult the criticism he has received, Nabil Bentaleb back-heeled it to him 30 yards out, and he curled a delightful shot into the top corner. 4-0. Incredible and well deserved.

Lots and lots of great performances, all across the pitch. Difficult decision for man of the match, but for me I have to give it to Emmanuel Adebayor, I’m not sure I can give it to anyone else! 2 goals and an assist is man of the match worthy for me, as well as his brilliant hold up play, bringing the midfielders in to the game, a brilliant performance once again from the Togolese big man, pure class. Right up there with the man of the match candidates is Hugo Lloris, incredible, the best goalkeeper in the league by a mile for me, he was as important as Emmanuel Adebayor, making a numerous amount of saves, so he deserved his clean sheet and many more will come with performances like this one! All the midfielders played brilliantly, Mousa Dembele and Paulinho did really well offensively, given that license by a defensive midfielder, Etienne Capoue, who broke the play up well and allowed the team to attack more and create more chances. Nabil Bentaleb played the best I’ve seen him in a Spurs shirt, his passing was crisp, his tackling strong and offensively he was powerful and efficient. Really impressed, even though I admit I had my doubts about him before the game, he’s got me and everyone else eating humble pie! Jan Vertonghen and Younes Kaboul, simply, make me feel safe, rocks in defence and against Newcastle they showed their class, especially Younes Kaboul after returning once again from another injury, I pray to God that he can keep fit and become the centre back he once was again. Captain Jan works a treat. Special mention to Kyle Naughton as well, played well, even though he receives a lot of critics, but he did his job very well.

What a win! It’s looking rather good for us right now, we’re still 3 points off Liverpool in 4th, but we’re only 7 points off Premier League leaders Chelsea, who knows what can happen. We can dream. Our next game is in the Europa League, out in Ukraine, we face Dnipro on Thursday 20th February, but our next game in the Premier League is against Norwich at Carrow Road on Sunday 23rd February. Let’s continue our big push for the top four! COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Newcastle at St James’ Park:
Lloris – 9
Walker – 7
Kaboul – 9
Vertonghen – 8.5
Naughton – 7
Capoue – 7.5
Bentaleb – 8.8
Paulinho – 8.5
Dembele – 8
Lennon – 7
Adebayor – 9 – Man of the Match.

Tim Sherwood’s post match reaction to our 4-0 win over Newcastle:

Match highlights from our 4-0 win over Newcastle:

Match Preview, Newcastle United vs Tottenham.

Match time & date: Wednesday 12th February 2014. Kick off 7:45pm.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: St James’ Park.

TV: Not on TV, stream will be provided if you need one.

Another big game, and an extremely tough one too. After a very important and hard fought victory at the Lane to Everton, it’s crucial we follow it up with another victory up at the Toon, putting a run together and gaining lots of confidence to put lots of pressure on Liverpool and the top four. Our recent form against Newcastle is quite poor, we lost at home earlier in the season 1-0 due to a Loic Remy goal, in which was an extremely disappointing performance, but we were unlucky as Tim Krul had a blinder, saving shots from every which way. Last time we faced the Geordies at St James’, we lost in AVB’s first game in charge, 2-1, again quite unlucky in that game. Now it’s Sherwood’s first trip up to Newcastle as Tottenham Head Coach, let’s hope for a different result this time out! We need to start quickly, put pressure on a possibly nervy Newcastle side who are in poor form, if we can quiet up the Newcastle faithful early on with an early goal it’d put us in a perfect position; that’s what we need. Huge and exciting game in prospect!

Newcastle are in a tough spot at the moment, with only 1 win in 8 games it couldn’t be going much worse for the Magpies, add that to the fact they lost their best player Yohah Cabaye to PSG and didn’t replace him in January, it’s becoming quite a farce for the Newcastle fans, and patience is wearing thin; let’s hope we can capitalise on that. Sitting in 9th it’s not all bad, only 10 points away from us in 5th, a change in fortunes and a spot in Europe could be up for the taking, but it would be really difficult for them. The Team news for Newcastle is quite substantial, Fabricio Coloccini (knee), Mathieu Debuchy (calf), Cheick Tiote (hamstring), Gabriel Obertan (knee) and Gael Bigirimana (ankle), Yoan Gouffran (muscle strain) and Papiss Cisse (back) all doubts, with Loic Remy, Newcastle’s top scorer suspended too.

The team news for Spurs is that Erik Lamela and Vlad Chiriches have been ruled out for another 6 weeks with back problems so miss the game, plus Sandro (calf) and Gylfi Sigurdsson (strain) remain out but should be back soon. Andros Townsend, Younes Kaboul and Jan Vertonghen are now fully fit and have had quite a bit of training and match time so hopefully they can get back to full form. Emmanuel Adebayor is in great form and crucial to our top four hopes, he did really well against Everton up on his own, so I’d keep him up on his own, but put Christian Eriksen in behind him as to help Adebayor get more in the game and get more service to him. On the left, I’d play Andros Townsend, with his pace and direct play he could be perfect for our away game plan of counter attacking and trying to pick Newcastle off on the break, that’s where we can win this game. In the middle of the park, there are two spots if we play with Townsend and Eriksen in behind Adebayor, so a decision has to be made as to whether we play Paulinho and Dembele or drop one to play either Bentaleb or Capoue, it’s a tough choice, but I’d go for Paulinho and Dembele, giving a rest to the young Bentaleb, but I think Sherwood will stick with Bentaleb, and maybe not even play Townsend. Some tough decisions for Tim.

Match stats and facts provided by FourFourTwo

– Newcastle United have lost their last three Barclays Premier League games at St James Park without scoring.

– Tottenham have won seven and lost just one of their last 10 Barclays Premier League away games.

– Newcastle have conceded first in their last four home matches.

– However, Spurs have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last seven on the road in the league.

– The Magpies have gone seven Premier League games without a clean sheet on home soil.

– Newcastle have had loss/loss results in their last three defeats.

– Newcastle have won five and lost none (D2) of their last seven Premier League home games against Spurs.

– Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe has scored on his last two Premier League appearances at St James Park.

– Spurs have had both teams scoring in their last seven away matches against Newcastle.

– Spurs have scored on each of their last eight Premier League visits to St James Park.

– Tottenham have not scored in the opening 15 minutes of a Premier League game since April 27th 2013 – nearly 10 months ago.

– Newcastle have had more goals in the second half in their last three home matches against Spurs.

– Newcastle have had fewer goalscorers in the Premier League this season than any other side (8).

– Following their 0-3 defeat to Chelsea at the weekend, Newcastle have now failed to score in six of their last seven Premier League matches – this after failing to score in just one of their previous 16 in the competition.

Looking forward to this one, I want a good performance and a good win and I don’t expect anything less! We need this! Remember that I will provide match updates, including photos, videos and vines all on my twitter account @AddictedToSpurs, give it a follow if you don’t already! Let’s get a win!! COYS!!

My predicted/preferred team to face Newcastle at St James’ Park:
Walker – Dawson – Vertonghen – Rose
Paulinho – Dembele
Lennon – Eriksen – Townsend

Tim Sherwood’s press conference pre the Newcastle fixture: