BETTING analyst Adam Wallis (@SharpSignals) shares his verdict on Tottenham's tussle with Newcastle at Wembley on Saturday.
Tottenham v Newcastle | Saturday 2nd February 2019, 12:30 | Sky Sports
It has been a tough run for Newcastle and Rafa Benitez – in their last six Premier League fixtures they have faced four of the Big Six, the last of which was their dramatic midweek win over champions Manchester City. That victory moved the Toon closer to safety, five points above the drop in 14th.
Things haven’t been easy for Tottenham either; the London club lost Harry Kane (injury) and Son Heung-Min (international duty) at the same time meaning Fernando Llorente has had a chance to impress.
With Son returning and fit to play, the pair combined to help Spurs comeback from being 1-0 down to overcome Watford 2-1 on Wednesday. Llorente grabbed an assist for Son to equalise then notched the winner three minutes from time.
Tottenham at home
Spurs still haven’t drawn a game at Wembley this season, or away for that matter. Despite still remaining in the top four, just two points behind Manchester City and seven behind leaders Liverpool, , their performances have been inconsistent.
The good news for Spurs fans is, they have a decent record this season against teams outside of the Big Six at Wembley. They have secured the points against Fulham (3-1) Cardiff (1-0), Southampton (3-1) and Burnley (1-0) These are teams that are currently close to, or below, Newcastle in the table.
Tottenham have scored 36 goals from open play this season, they have an Expected Goals (xG) value of 32.46 so they are slightly outperforming their expected metrics based on the quality of the chances they are creating. Kane was averaging 0.59 xG per, which is quite a substantial miss, but Son averages 0.46 xG so in theory they are only 0.13 xG down with the absence of their talisman.
The hosts have scored 20 goals at Wembley, averaging 1.82 per game, they have conceded 11 – that’s one per-match – with 64% seeing Over 2.5 Goals. Tottenham have had at least one goal in every match this season in the Premier League and in the 15 times they have played Newcastle in the league they have averaged 3.07 goals with Spurs winning on eight occasions.
Newcastle on the road
The Toon Army were bouncing on Tuesday night; despite conceding n just 25 seconds of the match against Man City as Sergio Aguero converted one of the Premier League’s fastest-ever goals. At this point you could be forgiven for thinking this was the start of a mauling but the Magpies weathered the storm and started to frustrate the champions, eventually claiming a 2-1 triumph.
Rafa Benitez is excellent at getting players in the right mindset for big games and this will be no different against Tottenham. Newcastle’s results against Big Six opposition this season aren’t brilliant, mind, as they have won only one of these fixtures – and that came on Tuesday night.
Out of the nine games Newcastle have played against the Big Six, six have finished 2-1 with five being losses for the Toon – the other results were a 4-0 defeat to Liverpool and the entertaining 3-2 loss to Manchester United. In those nine games, Newcastle averaged 0.77 xG, conceding 1.97 xG.
Newcastle have scored nine goals away from St James’ Park this season and have conceded 14 on their travels – 45% of those games have gone Over 2.5 Goals, whilst the Magpies have only failed to score twice against the Big Six this term.
The betting angle
Tottenham are hot favorites at 9/20, which with the manner in which they won midweek and coupled with Newcastle’s win against the champions, I am a little surprised about. But compared to how they were priced up against Fulham, Cardiff, Burnley and Southampton at Wembley, this is the biggest price Spurs have been.
Over 2.5 Goals is 9/10 and to me looks a decent price, as does Both Teams To Score (1/1 Bet365) and that is where my money is going.
Tottenham v Newcastle – Both Teams To Score (1/1 Bet365)