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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v Newcastle, 09.05.18

This season's away game - Newcastle 0 Spurs 2, 13.08.17
This week - last year
What happened in the Premier League on Matchday 37 2016-17

See the current injury list for all Premier League Teams
All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

Full Record of Spurs -v- Newcastle United

Prem         Pl   W   D   L    For-Ag  Pts
Home         22  12   1   9    35 -28  37
Away         23   6   5  12    30 -45  23
Total(Prem)  45  18   6  21    65 -73  60
Lge Div 1
Home         43  24   7  12    87 -48  59
Away         43  15  14  14    70 -76  45
Total(Div 1) 86  39  21  26   157 -124 109
Lge Div 2
Home          6   1   3   2     6 - 7   5
Away          6   3   0   3     6 - 4   6
Total(Div 2) 12   4   3   5    12 -11  11
Total(Prem)  45  18   6  21    65 -73  60
Total(Div 1) 86  39  21  26   157 -124 109
Total(Div 2) 12   4   3   5    12 -11  11
Grand Total 143  61  30  52   234 -208 179

Last Six Premier League results:-

Spurs      -    WWLDWL
Chelsea    1-3    Spurs
Stoke      1-2    Spurs
Spurs      1-3    Man City
Brighton   1-1    Spurs
Spurs      2-0    Watford
West Brom  1-0    Spurs

Newcastle  -    WWWLLL 

Newcastle  1-0    Hds'field
Leicester  1-2    Newcastle
Newcastle  2-1    Arsenal
Everton    1-0    Newcastle
Newcastle  0-1    West Brom
Watford    2-1    Newcastle

Pos            P  W  D  L   F-A   GD  Pts
 4. Spurs     36 21  8  7  68-32  36   71
10. Newcastle 36 11  8 17  36-46 -10   41

Time to produce the goods Spurs!

We should all know the equations and the mathematics regarding securing Champions League football for the third successive season. Two wins at home to Newcastle and Leicester would not only do that, but would also ensure a third place finish above Champions League finalists Liverpool! The trouble is, of course, that we have fallen into a sequence of poor form and results, and none of us can truly feel confident of getting those two wins. A win and a draw would be enough to finish above Chelsea, unless they can improve their goal difference by 10 in these final two games. Chelsea will be hosting Huddersfield while we play Newcastle. Maybe we can hope for David Wagner's side to keep a second clean sheet in four days. The bottom line is it is time for Spurs to produce the goods.

One problem is that our home league form against Newcastle is poor, and we have lost our last three such games. Home Spurs fans haven't seen the "Magpies" in the flesh since December 2015 when we lost 2-1. Eric Dier gave us a first half lead, but Mitrovic and Perez scored second half goals (the winner was in the 93rd minute) to secure a precious three points in their battle against an eventual relegation. Travelling Spurs fans will not want to be reminded of a horrible 5-1 defeat at St James' Park at the end of that 2015-16 season, despite the fact that The Toon" had been relegated. That was the year we came "third in a two horse race". Mitrovic scored again and also got sent off. Spurs couldn't even beat 10 men, although we were already 3-1 down when Mitrovic saw red. We do not want to finish fifth in a four horse race this season.

Mitrovic has been on loan with Fulham since January and has scored 12 Championship goals in 15 starts to help the London club into the play-offs. (Ayoze) Perez is still with Newcastle and has scored four goals in their last six games. The first three of those goals helped to secure Newcastle wins against Huddersfield, Leicester and Arsenal, which ensured their Premier league safety. Since then they've slipped into even worse form than us with three consecutive defeats. Like us they lost 1-0 to Darren Moore's West Brom, whose relegation was confirmed as a result Swansea's home defeat by Southampton.

Perez remains Newcastle's top league scorer with 6 goals this season. Former Palace man Dwight Gayle is one behind him, but hasn't scored since a 2-2 draw at Bournemouth in February. Newcastle had a difficult season until their run of 4 consecutive wins in March and April. They have rarely been out of the news due to the turmoil behind the scenes and the fans' antipathy towards Mike Ashley. Manager Rafa Benitez stuck with the club through their last Championship season, and has a contract until next summer. He will be looking for more investment in the summer, but the question of club ownership needs to be resolved first, I suspect.

This match was scheduled to be played on the Friday night before the FA Cup quarter-finals. It was going to be on Sky Television, but Chelsea v Huddersfield has now taken priority over our game. Bearing in mind we started our season in August at St James' Park with a 2-0 away win this season must be the longest gap between the two clubs' league meetings. Apart from that horrible game two years ago, the previous May meeting was in 1996, which was also at St James' Park. We wanted a win to stand a chance of qualifying for a place in Europe (it would have been the first time for four years). Jason Dozzell gave us hope with a 57th minute goal, but the player who would become a Spur just over a year later (Les Ferdinand) scored an equaliser which would stop us in our tracks. Newcastle finished second that season, but went into the UEFA Cup, as these were pre-Champions League Days.

This game is far more important, and has to be regarded as a "must win" game by the Spurs players. Even if four points might be enough, we cannot afford to go into Sunday's game against Leicester with a win being the only option. Spurs are not helped by the confirmed absences for this game of Serge Aurier (hamstring), Mousa Dembele (ankle) and Eric Dier (illness). All might make Sunday's game. On the plus side, Jan Vertonghen has trained well despite limping off at West Brom, and is available.

Despite the Newcastle team possibly being in holiday mode, Benitez will surely have his men motivated, with the knowledge that they have the chance to influence who finishes in the top four, with their final game at home to Chelsea.

We need to be more direct in our attacking moves in this game, and I hope there is a chance for Lucas Moura to start this game. I suspect he will be on the bench, and that Son Heung-min will replace Lamela. I have to predict a Spurs win and I don't honestly care by how many, but I hope it is two or three and that we can relax, at least until Leicester come to town!

Match referee Neil Swarbrick has only been in charge of one Spurs game this season. That was the 4-0 away win against Huddersfield. Such a scoreline would be fine by me!

"It was Twenty Years ago today!" - Reviewing the 1997/98 season match by match. It was not a good year!

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