Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur – Match Preview

Newcastle entertain Tottenham at St James’ Park on Sunday looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the season which has raised expectation levels on Tyneside.

The Magpies have yet to taste defeat in their seven Premier League games and are unbeaten in 10 stretching back to last season – their longest run since 1997. Boss Alan Pardew’s summer transfer activity is paying instant dividends and the midfield battle between Yohan Cabaye and Luka Modric will prove to be an interesting spectacle. The Frenchman has settled into English football without a hitch adding an elegance to the centre of the park at St James’ proving the perfect foil for the bruising qualities of Cheick Tiote. The attacking philopsophy that has been adopted by Pardew has also brought the best out of Leon Best and Demba Ba with the latter scoring four goals in his last two games including a hat trick against Blackburn. However the basis of Newcastle’s superb campaign to far has been the defence with Steven Taylor and captain Fabricio Coloccini looking impenetrable whilst Tim Krul has proved to be a worthy winner of the race for the number one jersey. The young Dutchman has pulled off save after magnificent save and he was man of the match against Wolves a fortnight ago pulling off a series of stunning stops to ensure a 2-1 win. Credit has to go to Pardew for his attention to detail and he’s got the best out of Ryan Taylor despite him playing in an unfamiliar left back position although he has been aided by Jonas Gutierrez’s diligent tracking back. The defence has conceded only four goals this season but will be majorly tested on Sunday against Spurs.

Harry Redknapp’s side are hunting a fifth consecutive win and have won their last two away from White Hart Lane. They were involved in one the more entertaining games this season a fortnight ago as they claimed all the North London bragging rights beating Arsenal 2-1. Kyle Walker struck the winner in that game and will be full of confidence ahead of the visit to the North East. The Londoners full backs and wingers are key to their offensive game with Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon providing pace and directness on the flanks. Supported by Walker and Benoit Assou Ekotto the Magpies back line will be in for a real test especially with Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defore partnered up front. The little and large combo have struck up an instant accord with Adebayor scoring three in four games since his loan move from Manchester City. Redknapp will need him to have his shooting boot’s on this weekend as Spurs have failed to register a win in the last five meetings between the two sides.

Key Players

Yohan Cabaye – The Frenhman has looked an absolute steal since joining from Lille in the summer for £4.5 million. Cabaye has brought an elegance to the Newcastle midfield that was missing last season with his creative tendencies and energetic displays already endearing him to the Geordie faithful.

Gareth Bale – After a blistering 2010/11 campaign Bale has simmered down to a degree this season but is still as dangerous as ever on the left. His lung bursting runs and boundless energy making difficult to for defenders to stop him and Danny Simpson will be in for a difficult afternoon.

Verdict: 1-1

  • Yohan Cabaye and Chiek Tiote topped the charts for distance covered again with 11.7km and 12.1km respectively.
  • Chieck Tiote is the top ranked Newcastle player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index after rising 11 places to 30th after their last game. Tiote has won 55% of tackles attempted and completing 94 passes in his opponent’s half
  • Young full back Kyle Walker scored the second in that game with an impressive long range effort that earned him a senior England call up. It also pushed him 57 places up the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index to 58th place.
  • As well as having an impressive strike, Walker has been in excellent defensive form for Spurs this season winning 92% of the tackles he has attempted.