Tottenham will be wondering what all the VAR fuss is about as they prepare to host Newcastle United this weekend.
For the second time in 5 months, technology saved Spurs at the Etihad as Gabriel Jesus’ dramatic (and fully deserved) last-minute winner was ruled out. This meant Pochettino could leave Manchester with a valuable point against a side who aren’t the most charitable at home.
They have had to work very hard for their points this season: Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane dragged them over the line against Villa as Spurs have ground out four points from two games. Getting results while not playing well is a very good habit to have.
Newcastle and Spurs are similar in that neither are quite at their best. In fact, Newcastle are a fair way off. After a promising display against Arsenal, the Magpies were comfortably beaten by Norwich in a performance that will worry the St. James’ faithful.
Steve Bruce is already fighting a losing battle to keep fans on side and there is a real cause for concern for the Toon Army: no points, one consolation goal and four conceded points to problems at both ends of the pitch.
Can Newcastle get their season going in North London? Read on for our predictions, key players, TV info and team news for Tottanham vs Newcastle.
When is Spurs v Newcastle and where can I watch live?
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Date: Sunday 25 August
Kick-off: 4:30pm BST
TV coverage (UK): Sky Sports Premier League & Sky Sports Main Event
Last five meetings: Spurs v Newcastle
2 February 2019: Spurs 1-0 Newcastle
11 August 2018: Newcastle 1-2 Spurs
9 May 2018: Spurs 1-0 Newcastle
13 August 2017: Newcastle 0-2 Spurs
15 May 2016: Newcastle 5-1 Spurs
Aggregate score: Spurs (WWWWL) 7-6 Newcastle (LLLLW)
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Ones to watch
Spurs: Heung-Min Son
Having been suspended for the first three games of the season, the South Korean is back available to Mauricio Pochettino this weekend. Spurs haven’t been struggling for goals – they’ve scored five in two games and scored their only two shots from inside City’s half on Saturday – but Son’s return is a welcome boost nonetheless. He was instrumental last season in taking some of the goalscoring weight off Kane’s shoulders and was perhaps unfortunate to miss out on recognition from the PFA. Regardless, expect him to hit the ground running this season.
Key stat: Heung-Min Son has hit double figures for goals for three consecutive seasons.
Newcastle: Jonjo Shelvey
One to watch for not necessarily all the right reasons this weekend. Despite his undoubted ability on the ball (as shown by his excellent finish at Norwich), Shelvey’s work rate has been brought into question again following his display in East Anglia. Many said that midfield partners Hayden and Ki Sung-yueng seemed to be doing all of the 27-year-old’s leg work for him and this is perhaps one of the reasons the Newcastle are struggling this season. If they can accommodate Shelvey, they surely have to – after all, he’s one of the most talented players, if not the most, in their squad. However, if their side is struggling with him in, perhaps they need a rejig.
Key stat: Shelvey was the only outfield player to fail to make a tackle, interception or clearance for Newcastle against Norwich.
Son returns for Spurs after suspension, but Tanguy Ndombele will miss out after a training injury. Ryan Sessegnon is continuing his rehabilitation and Dele Alli has begun training again. Jan Vertonghen remains fit and available and will hope to make the squad for the first time this season.
Predicted XI: Lloris; Walker-Peters, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Rose; Sissoko, Winks; Moura, Eriksen, Son; Kane
Allan Saint-Maximin missed the trip to Norwich but is available again for Steve Bruce. Andy Carroll and Dwight Gayle are both out but Joelinton has recovered from a knock he picked up at Carrow Road.
Predicted XI: Dubravka; Schar, Lascelles, Dummett; Krafth, Hayden, Shelvey, Longstaff, Ritchie; Almiron; Joelinton
Spurs will be happy after their remarkable draw at the Etihad, but also well aware that they have a point to prove. They were clinical but must know that they were not up to their usual standards. The mood at Newcastle is glum, to say the least. They desperately need a pick-me-up but Spurs at home are a tough proposition. They have been known to slip up in games like this, but we don’t think they will this Sunday.
Tottenham 3-1 Newcastle