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Newcastle: Eddie Howe must unleash Joe Willock vs Spurs

Newcastle United are unbeaten in their last six Premier League matches and they now travel away to face Tottenham Hotspur this evening.

Eddie Howe’s men are on a fine run of form and recently held Manchester United to a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford, which shows that they can go to a traditional big six ground and pick up a result.

Miguel Almiron’s fantastic strike from distance was enough to seal the three points last time out in the top-flight as the Magpies beat Everton 1-0 at St. James’ Park.

Should Willock start vs Spurs?

YES!

YES!

NO!

NO!

However, they may be forced into making a change to their starting XI from that match as one of their players has been dealt a blow in the build-up.

The Athletic’s Chris Waugh Tweeted some early team news ahead of the clash: “Joelinton has a knock to his knee which #NUFC “hope” is not serious but he will be assessed in the coming days. Seems like he’ll be out of Sunday’s game, but Joe Willock seems to have shaken off his illness & Jonjo Shelvey will be in the squad again.”

Joelinton’s injury looks set to open up a space in the midfield and Howe must now unleash Joe Willock from the start, alongside Sean Longstaff and Bruno Guimaraes.

The Englishman has started nine of the club’s 11 Premier League matches so far this season and has been relied upon as a regular starter by the manager.

He has caught the eye on the creative side of the game as he has produced three big chances for his teammates and created 1.1 chances per game from central midfield, racking up two assists for his efforts.

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The 23-year-old gem is yet to notch his first goal of the season but Howe previously described Willock as being “full of energy” and claimed that the midfielder is “desperate” to score, without being selfish on the pitch.

His ability on the ball is not his only quality as the ex-Arsenal man also makes an impact at the other end of the pitch. He has averaged 2.6 tackles and interceptions per game so far this term, whilst also ranking in the 15% for pressures per 90 among players in his position in Europe’s top five leagues over the last year.

Willock is a box-to-box midfielder, like Joelinton, who can slot straight in for his Brazilian teammate and do a job against Spurs.

Playing against the bitter rivals of his former club could also give him extra motivation to score and get stuck in defensively during the match – if he was invested in that rivalry.

Article title: Newcastle: Eddie Howe must unleash Joe Willock vs Spurs

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