How Newcastle United Will Line Up Against Tottenham Hotspur
The Magpies’ confidence should be sky-high following their 2-0 win over Chelsea, and their performance in the second half on Tyneside left Jose Mourinho’s men reeling.
But the Toon’s record at White Hart Lane is far from convincing, with seven defeats in their last nine visits, and manager Alan Pardew will want to head into the international break on the back of a positive result.
So as the teams prepare to do battle on Sunday, we look at how the Geordies could line up against Andre Villas-Boas’ side.
Goalkeeper: Tim Krul
Buoyed by a clean sheet against Chelsea last Saturday, Tim Krul will continue between the posts for Newcastle United’s trip to White Hart Lane.
The Dutchman achieved his first shutout in seven league games against the Blues and will be hoping for a similar shift against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
It’s been a mixed season so far for the 25-year-old, but few doubt his importance to the Toon’s cause, and a solid performance at Spurs would strengthen his standing further.
Full-Backs: Mathieu Debuchy and Davide Santon
With doubts surrounding the fitness of Massadio Haidara and Paul Dummett, Newcastle United’s only option at left-back is to continue with Italian Davide Santon.
The former Inter Milan man did well against his former boss Jose Mourinho last weekend, but he’ll need to dig out a repeat performance to keep the likes of Andros Townsend and Aaron Lennon quiet.
On the right, Mathieu Debuchy will continue after a convincing shift versus Chelsea and will want to head into France’s World Cup play-off against Ukraine in a positive frame of mind.
Centre-Backs: Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson
While the trip to North London will come too soon for Geordie defender Steven Taylor, Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew should have captain Fabricio Coloccini available once more.
The Argentinian has not figured for the Magpies since the beginning of October after a groin problem ruled him out for a month, but he is ready to play his part against Tottenham Hotspur.
His return leaves Pardew facing something of a dilemma, but with Mike Williamson in excellent form, it would be extremely harsh to exclude the 30-year-old, and he should start ahead of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
Central Midfielders: Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye
If Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew decides to start with a 4-4-2 formation on Sunday, then Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye will almost certainly make up his central midfield pairing.
Though Cabaye’s invention is often nullified when used in a duo, his work-rate and distribution will be vital at White Hart Lane—especially in the early stages.
As for Tiote, the Ivorian has been the Magpies’ best player in recent weeks, and he is fully expected to feature despite leaving the field early against Chelsea with a slight thigh strain.
Wide Midfielders: Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran
Some would argue Moussa Sissoko has been given enough opportunities to shine in the black and white of Newcastle United, but his performance against Chelsea last Saturday should see him selected at Spurs.
The powerful Frenchman has been used in numerous positions by Alan Pardew since arriving in January, and though he is no winger, the Toon boss has proved his reluctance to drop the former Toulouse man.
On the left side, Yoan Gouffran’s popularity on the terraces continues to grow, and his cult status at St James’ Park was boosted further by his opening goal against the Blues.
Centre-Forwards: Loic Remy and Shola Ameobi
With Papiss Cisse now firmly confined to the substitutes bench by manager Alan Pardew, Shola Ameobi could be the main beneficiary with a third start in a row for Newcastle United.
The Nigerian international—who is hoping to seal his country’s place at next year’s World Cup this month—could be utilised in a front two as he was in the clash with Chelsea.
Alongside him, Loic Remy will continue in a more central role after scoring the Toon’s all-important second against the Blues. The Frenchman is the club’s top scorer so far this season, with six Premier League goals to his name.