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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Newcastle United v Spurs - 22.01.11

This Season's home game - Spurs 2 Newcastle 0
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What happened in the Premiership in Match 24 2009-10

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Full Record of Spurs -v- Newcastle United

 
Prem         Pl   W   D   L    For-Ag  Pts
Home         17  10   1   6    26 -22  31
Away         16   3   3  10    16 -34  12
==========================================
Total(Prem)  33  13   4  16    42 -56  43
==========================================
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)  33  13   4  16    42 -56  43
Total(Div 1) 86  39  21  26   157 -124 109
Total(Div 2) 12   4   3   5    12 -11  11
==========================================
Grand Total 131  56  28  47   211 -191 163
==========================================

Last Six Premiership results:-

Newcastle

Newcastle  3-1   Liverpool
Newcastle  1-3   Man City
Spurs      2-0   Newcastle
Wigan      0-1   Newcastle
Newcastle  5-0   West Ham
S'derland  1-1   Newcastle

Spurs
 
Spurs      1-1   Chelsea
A. Villa   1-2   Spurs
Spurs      2-0   Newcastle
Spurs      1-0   Fulham
Everton    2-1   Spurs
Spurs      0-0   Man Utd

Pos          P  W  D  L   F-A  GD  Pts
5 Spurs     22 10  7  5  31-25  6  37
9 Newcastle 22  8  5  9  35-32  3  29
In search of a third league "double"

Spurs can steal a march on their rivals for a top four place (Chelsea) by gaining their third league "double" of the season with a win at St. James' Park, which they have not visited since December, 2008. Chelsea have to wait till Monday night for an emotional trip to The Reebock Stadium, when Bolton fans en masse will have their first opportunity to mourn the passing of their hero, the legendary Nat Lofthouse. Both venues will be difficult for the visiting teams.

Our six match form guide above now reflects the time since Alan Pardew was appointed to replace Chris Hughton. Pardew got off to a great start with that 3-1 win over Liverpool, and at the start of the season Newcastle would surely be happy to be three points above Liverpool and Everton. However, Newcastle's results continue to be a mixed bag, with a 5-0 win over West Ham followed by eviction from the FA Cup by League Two minnows, Stevenage. Last week at The Stadium of Light, the "Toon" had victory snatched away by a last gasp equaliser by Asamoah Gyan.

Such are the anomalies of the fixture computer that we face Newcastle for the second time in just four Premier League matches. There is usually one such game around this time of the season though, and for Spurs it gives the chance of a third league "double" at an early stage to follow those against Aston Villa and Fulham.

They used to say that we had one of the best records of any away team at Newcastle, but surely this record must have faded since the advent of Premier League. We have only managed three previous Premier League wins here, and achieved the league "double" just once in 2004-05. On this occasion we beat Newcastle in our first away game of the season with that Thimothee Atouba goal. Atouba left us for Hamburg and last played for Ajax in the 2009-10 season. The return match, in April 2005 was also a 1-0 win for Spurs, with Jermain Defoe scoring the goal. Newcastle had obtained their revenge earlier with an FA Cup quarter-final win in March 2005.

Newcastle have managed three Premier League "doubles" over us, with the last two in consecutive seasons between December 2006 and March 2008. They also beat us at their place in their last relegation season in December 2008. On this occasion Joe Kinnear was in charge, and the Newcastle team included our own Sebastien Bassong, and was skippered by Michael Owen, now a Manchester United reserve. For the record, the score was 2-1, with Luka Modric scoring a 29th minute equaliser to N'Zogbia's 12th minute goal, before Damien Duff ruined our day with a last minute winner.

They haven't been filling their ground with regularity this season, but the chances are there will be over 50,000 at St. James' Park for what is an attractive fixture. Newcastle have been missing their talismanic striker Andy Carroll, since the game at White Hart Lane, but he could just make a return here. Carroll remains the Newcastle top scorer, but Kevin Nolan is only one league goal behind him, and in his absence 24 year old Republic of Ireland International Leon Best has been chipping in, scoring a hat-trick in the thrashing of West Ham. There is no return date known for Alan Smith, who has an ankle injury, but the villainous Joey Barton will feature, and will attract the anger of the travelling support. Another "villain", Cheik Tiote, will be suspended after his sending off at Stevenage.

Whether Spurs will blood their new signing Steven Pienaar remains to be seen, but he can play across the middle of the park. With Spurs effectively missing just Tom Huddlestone and Ledley King (the latter has made just 7 appearances in all games this season), Pienaar may have to start from the bench for this game.

Spurs then have plenty of options, whilst Newcastle are missing one or two key men, without similar replacements. They will have the crowd on their side, which could make the difference, unless Spurs can get an early goal and keep "The Toon" quiet. Both teams have had a full week's rest, and it is a tough one to call. I have to go for Spurs to edge it, and take back fourth place!

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