- Newcastle won on four of their last six visits to play Tottenham.
- Spurs’ meeting with the Magpies will be their fourth game in 10 days.
- Tottenham failed to keep a clean sheet in their first four competitive games of the new season.
- Spurs dropped points in eight of their last 14 Premier League fixtures.
Tottenham’s hectic schedule
Tottenham’s whirlwind start to the 2020/21 season continues on Sunday when they take on Newcastle in the Premier League – just three days after contesting a Europa League qualification bout in Macedonia.
While Spurs were spared what would have been a taxing Carabao Cup test at Leyton Orient on Tuesday after the match was called off, their meeting with the Magpies on Sunday will still be their fourth match inside 10 days in a gruelling schedule that is certain to effect energy levels in their squad.
Jose Mourinho chose to roll out many of his big guns for Spurs’ game against Shkendija on Thursday, and while Tottenham were eventually able to force a 3-1 win, the clash proved far more arduous than many had anticipated.
Newcastle bounce back in cup mauling
Newcastle meanwhile, warmed up for their trip to the capital with a resounding 7-0 triumph at League Two side Morecambe in the Carabao Cup, in a hammering that should prove a useful confidence builder.
The Magpies needed a shot of self-belief following their 3-0 reverse at home to Brighton in the Premier League last weekend, however, after their opening day 2-0 win at West Ham the week before, Steve Bruce’s men still carry some top-flight momentum as the visiting team.
Having masterminded a 1-0 win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in last year’s corresponding fixture, Bruce will hope to lean on the same formula again to carve out another positive result on Sunday.
Energy-sapped Spurs to falter?
Tottenham’s 3,000-mile round trip to Macedonia was a far from ideal way to prepare for a tough test against a robust Newcastle side on Sunday, and with fatigue a factor, we think the Magpies could take something from the game in North London.
Spurs, who were beaten 1-0 on their own patch by Everton on the opening weekend of the new campaign, dropped points in eight of their last 14 top-flight tussles overall, and while their 5-2 triumph at Southampton last time out was impressive, the performance behind the result was nowhere near as emphatic as the scoreline suggests.
The Magpies have enjoyed some success in away games at Spurs in recent seasons, winning on four of their last six visits to play Tottenham since 2016 – a sequence that includes their 1-0 in North London in August last year.
With Spurs’ players being pushed to their physical limits by a tightly packed fixture calendar, Newcastle – who are adept at strangling the life out of games under Bruce – could prove a tricky prospect again for their hosts, and we think the Magpies are worth backing in the double chance market as a result.
It’s also worth noting however, that just three goals hit the net in total in the last three league meetings between Spurs and Newcastle in the capital, and their latest clash on Sunday promises to be just as keenly contested.
With the Magpies expected to sit deep and frustrate, in-form Tottenham pair Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane should have few spaces to exploit, and another low-scoring contest between the clubs is anticipated. With that in mind, a 1-1 draw looks a solid correct score prediction.
Tottenham Hotspur injuries and team news
Returning superstar Gareth Bale has been ruled out until next month, though fellow new signing Sergio Reguilon will hope to shake off an ankle injury in time to play.
Japhet Tanganga is still absent however, while key attacking duo Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min – who came off the bench in mid-week – should be restored to the Spurs XI.
Newcastle injuries and team news
Martin Dubravka, Fabian Schar, Matthew Longstaff, Paul Dummet and Dwight Gayle are all in the treatment room for Newcastle, though Allan Saint-Maximin and Jamal Lewis should be fit enough to feature on Sunday.
Ryan Fraser is in line to make his first Premier League start for Newcastle, while Andy Carroll is looking to play his third league game on the spin.