Momentum hasn’t been something you’d associate with Steve McClaren’s Newcastle United this season. Having failed to build consistency since taking over in the summer, his side travel back down to the capital tomorrow to face a Spurs team unbeaten in the league since the opening day.
Spurs are hoping to bring back-to-back draws in the league to an end, as they push for a solid Champions League finish. Easing their way past Monaco to top their Europa League group on Thursday, Mauricio Pochettino can bring in the rested, attacking trio of Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane all to the starting line-up. A worrying thought for a United side which has leaked on average two goals per game.
The kings of inconsistency against a side on a 14 game unbeaten run. A victory at the Lane would epitomise the unpredictability of this season.
After a solid and resolute performance at St James’ against Liverpool, McClaren will be looking to continue his side’s habit of performing better against the stronger teams of the league. Paired with the fact Sissoko and Co. usually turn it on for the Sky Sports cameras, you wouldn’t be forgiven for thinking we can get something out of this.
Our two previous league visits to White Hart Lane both returned impressive victories. Who can forget Tim Krul playing out of his skin for a clean sheet two seasons ago. Or the well-executed Sammy Ameobi goal straight from the half-time break last year. If McClaren is hoping to extend this run of form, he’ll have to deploy his side in a similar fashion to last week, absorbing pressure for long periods and look to nick a goal to return with a win.
However, if we do ship an early goal, we will more than likely hit the self-destruct button (not for the first time this season), reprising unwanted flashbacks of the 5-0 demolition of 2012.
Janmaat Mbemba Coloccini Dummett
Sissoko De Jong Wijnaldum
Wijnaldum has been the catalyst of everything positive in the team this season. If he can exploit the space behind Kyle Walker and unlock Spurs’ defence, the Magpies could come away with their second consecutive league win, something we haven’t done since November last year. If McClaren can get the same performance out of the Dutchman, likewise with Coloccini, there’s no reason we can’t leave with our second away win of the season.
We out ran Klopp’s Liverpool; do we have the legs to do it again over Pochettino’s men?
McClaren had the team looking at their most focused to date last week, battling for every ball, replicating that may prove to be difficult. Even if Spurs do carry a Europa League hangover.