It’s often said that the mark of a good team is the ability to pick up results when they’re not playing well. So far this season, Tottenham Hotspur have done exactly that.
In the opening match against Aston Villa the side went a goal down at home to the promoted club and then struggled to break them down, before the goals finally flowed towards the end of the match and Spurs ran out as 3-1 winners. Last weekend they faced a tough challenge away at Manchester City and were comprehensively outplayed, yet somehow came away with a 2-2 draw, as they made the most of their few chances.
With Newcastle up next at home, Tottenham will be hoping to produce a performance that matches the quality of the result. The Magpies have lost both of their Premier League games this season and look like certainties to be involved in a fight against relegation.
Steve Bruce is now manager of Newcastle after Rafa Benitez left the club this summer and his team looked tactically clueless against promoted Norwich last Saturday, as they were beaten 3-1. Newcastle actually performed better in their opening game against Arsenal, in which they defended well and created some chances in a 1-0 defeat.
With the players at Bruce’s disposal, it could be that the tactical plan is easier to formulate against good teams, than ones that Newcastle actually have a chance of beating. So it’s likely that against Spurs they will simply sit back, try to make themselves difficult to break down and hope to have success on the break.
Regardless of the plan it’s Tottenham that are expected to win this one, with the home side priced at 1.25 to win at betolimp. The draw is 6.25 and Newcastle are out at 10.54.
Spurs took a long time to start scoring goals against Aston Villa. It was the introduction of the substitute Christian Eriksen that changed the game and with the Dane started against Manchester City, he should once again be selected. Tanguy Ndombele is out with an injury, which could see Mauricio Pochettino go with a change in formation. A 4-2-3-1 would see Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks starting together in midfield, with Eriksen one of a trio of attacking midfielders, alongside any two of Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura or Heung-Min Son.
Such a philosophy should see Tottenham deal with Newcastle with more ease than was the case against Villa, though patience could prove to be a virtue for the home fans. Newcastle managed to keep Arsenal at bay until the second-half of their match, so it could be worth keeping an eye of Spurs’ escalating price in the live betting odds.
Finding value for a Tottenham win is a tough task at such a short starting price. The team has a bad habit of starting slowly, which makes a half-time/full-time victory a risk. Though Spurs have conceded in both of their games, backing them to keep a clean sheet and win to nil at 2.05 could be the smartest bet. Newcastle were toothless in attack against Norwich.