ADAM GOODWIN (@AGJournalism) shares his thoughts on Super Sunday's contest between Newcastle and Tottenham from St James' Park in the Premier League.
Newcastle v Tottenham | Sunday 13th August 2017, 13:30 | Sky Sports
Newcastle returned to the Premier League at the first time of asking after their relegation, and their first game of the new season is against last season’s runners up Tottenham. Spurs have finished 3rd and 2nd in their last two seasons and this year they’re aiming to win their first league title since 1961.
The Toon's revitalisation under Rafa
Newcastle went into last season as the favourites to win the Championship and proved fruitful as winners. Rafa Benitez stayed at the club despite their relegation and guided them back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
There were rumours at the start of the transfer window that Benitez wasn’t completely satisfied with his transfer budget, however, those issues seem to have blown over and they now seem set for the new season. Their most notable additions are England U21 winger Jacob Murphy from Norwich and former Eibar centre-back Florian Lejeune – signed for a combined fee £20.5 million. And Rafa was complaining about his transfer budget?
Newcastle has a surprisingly good record against Tottenham in the Premier League. They’ve won 21 of their 44 games against Spurs, drawing six and losing 17. The Magpies will be hoping to continue this great form come Sunday.
Spurs Wembley woes and an unhappy camp
After playing their final game at White Hart Lane at the end of last season, Tottenham will play their home matches at Wembley this season. They played there during their Champions League campaign last season and managed just one victory.
There is potentially some unrest in the Tottenham camp after Kyle Walker was sold to Premier League rivals Manchester City for a reported £45 million. Danny Rose has also expressed an interest in leaving the club and said earlier this week, that he wanted Spurs to sign some players “he didn’t have to Google”. They have since been linked with Celta Vigo’s Pape Cheikh Diop.
Tottenham went unbeaten at home last season but their away form tended to be a little less impressive. However, if Harry Kane and Dele Alli are on the top of their game, anything is possible.
Newcastle notorious at home
St James’ Park is a daunting place to go at the best of times, but with the Toon Army in a buoyant mood after their promotion, it won’t be an easy place to go for Spurs on Sunday. Tottenham is without a certain right back on Sunday after the departure of Kyle Walker. Added to their frustrations, is the injury to Kieran Trippier, meaning it looks like youngster Kyle Walker-Peters or Moussa Sissoko will fill in at right wing-back.
I think Spurs fans would probably label Newcastle as one of their bogey teams, and I can see that continuing again this weekend. Back Newcastle or draw at 23/18 with Unibet.
Newcastle v Tottenham – Newcastle double chance (23/18 Unibet)