High-flying Tottenham will be hoping to cement their place in the top 4 when they play host to resurgent Newcastle, a team that are slowly climbing the Premier League standings. Despite the fact that 18 points currently separate the two sides in the league standings, we should see a very interesting match at White Hart Lane.
All eyes on Gareth Bale
Team’s desperate need for a new centre forward was more than obvious while Emmanuel Adebayor was away on Africa Cup of Nations duty, with Clint Dempsey and Jonathan Obika struggling to provide cover for Jermain Defoe. Tottenham chief Daniel Levy was widely tipped to sign a new striker before the January window closes, but he failed in his attempt to lure Leandro Damiao to the club and left the team terribly short of cover in attack. To make matters worse, Jermain Defoe picked up an injury that will see him miss next three weeks of action, but at least Emmanuel Adebayor is now back from international duty and Harry Kane has returned from a loan spell at Norwich. However, even with all these problems, Spurs can be trusted to continue the good run of results against Newcastle, mostly because the likes of Bale, Lennon and Holtby all appear to be on top of their game at the moment. In an open game that is expected at White Hart Lane, Tottenham should be able to create enough chances to score at least a couple of goals here.
Emmanuel Adebayor is likely to slot straight into the starting line-up, while Defoe, Sandro and Kaboul remain sidelined.
Newcastle fans may be getting a lot of stick for a number of French players in the squad, but I’m sure they won’t mind as long as their beloved team continue playing like they have been during the past few weeks. January signings, all five coming from French Ligue 1, have had a key role to play in team’s turnaround in fortunes, with attacking midfielder Moussa Sissoko especially impressive in back to back victories over Aston Villa and Chelsea. The two excellent showings proved a couple of good results in a row was everything the Magpies needed to turn their season around, meaning they can now be backed to continue climbing the Premier League standings. Few weeks ago, Newcastle could have been afraid to attack Tottenham at the Lane, but that will certainly not be the case now that they are playing their best football of the season.
Cheick Tiote has returned from Africa Cup of Nations, while Hatem Ben Arfa is closing in on match fitness.
Tottenham’s attacking displays should improve now that Emmanuel Adebayor is back to the side, with Gareth Bale there to help if the Togolese striker fails to deliver. Newcastle, on the other hand, are scoring goals for fun at the moment, so goals should be the order of the day at White Hart Lane.
Top pick: Both teams to score 1.73 (8/11) @ BetFred
Alternative pick 1: Over 2.5 goals 1.73 (8/11) @ Stan James
Alternative pick 2: Gareth Bale to score 2.75 (7/4) @ Ladbrokes
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