Newcastle go into this with a huge confidence boost, from their midweek surprise victory at home to Man City, Tottenham will need to have their wits about them despite their impressive home form.
Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle
Saturday 2nd February, 12:30
After losing his last two away matches at the hands of London rivals Chelsea and Crystal Palace, Pochettino will be glad that his side are at home again this week following Spurs’ hard fought win against Watford at home in midweek. Although Tottenham have had more losses at home than away this season, their recent form shows this has been reversed, having lost three away games in ten matches whereas at home they’ve only lost two.
In front of the crowds at Wembley, Tottenham have enjoyed scoring goals, having produced over a goal per game (1.82). However they have been susceptible to losing a goal per game (1.00) which has led them to dropping twelve points at home this season through four losses. This has caused over 50% of Tottenham matches to end with both teams scored.
Tottenham have key players missing for the bout with Newcastle. Dele Alli and Harry Kane picked up injuries during the period of January, with no one sure when they will return. Kane remains Spurs’ top goalscorer with fourteen in twenty-two matches. Kane also helped create goals, picking up four assists so far this season. In the six games leading up to the striker’s injury, Tottenham were averaging under three goals per game (2.67) whereas without the striker, they’ve averaged just over a goal per game (1.25) over four games in all competitions. Within this period the North London side have been knocked out of the EFL Cup and FA Cup.
After the win in midweek, Newcastle can afford to look up in the league
Benitez has shown there is life in his Newcastle side yet, as his side’s shock win against Man City has raised his team away from the relegation places and into mid-table in 14th, with another win potentially moving his side further up the table. However given their away stats this season, this may end up being a reality check for the Toon.
The Magpies have only three away wins this season, with only one of those coming in the last six matches. Newcastle have averaged a goal per game in the last six away games, which coupled with the lack of clean sheets, form when playing away from home dips drastically for Benitez’ team. Defensive frailties and a weak offence are the reason behind Newcastle’s poor away form. On average, the Magpies have scored less than a goal per game (0.88) and conceded at least a goal per game (1.33). This has resulted in twelve losses overall this season.
With the Spaniard likely to see a gulf in class between his side and Pochettino’s, the Champions League winner, would be happy to see his side earn a point, as they have produced two draws in three matches played in London. However the other match he lost was to Chelsea, Newcastle have demonstrated an inability to get results against the top five sides this season barring the Man City win. They have lost five and won one in the last six games against opposition from the top half of the table.
After a long absence for Spurs due to the Asian Cup, Son Heung-Min showed the Spurs fans exactly what they were missing throughout the Winter period, with a goal to equalise against Watford in midweek. However, he is a doubt for the game against Newcastle, after sustaining an injury to the thigh in training.
Like his compatriot, Ki Sung-Yeung will also be missing the action this week due to injuries picked up in the Asia Cup. Jonjo Shelvey and Mo Diame face late fitness tests to see if they are ready to return for Newcastle from their respective injuries.
Having shown they can heavily upset the odds against City, be wary of betting against Newcastle in this one. However, Tottenham remain favourites for this at odds of 4/9 to the away side being priced at 17/2. Although Tottenham’s form is far from desirable at home, Newcastle’s away form points at Tottenham winning comfortably. Realistically, the most Newcastle could hope for is a draw which has been given odds of 7/2. An outside bet on this match would be a Newcastle or Draw bet which gets odds of 15/8.
With both sides having shown they are liable to losing goals this season, bets such as Both Teams to Score and Over 2.5 markets become more valuable. It is EVENS for both sides to score in the early kick off on Saturday. For Over 2.5 goals to be scored it is 9/10. For more value, it would be worth adding the result to the bet, with the notion that Tottenham will win the match but concede their customary goal per game, Tottenham to win and Over 2.5 goals is priced at 6/5.
With Harry Kane missing from action, spearheading the attack for Tottenham has been Fernando Llorente. Despite a change in attacking style, the Spaniard has been able to get amongst the goals. Currently he has got on the score sheet on two occasions in the four matches he has played. His last goal coming in the last match against Watford. It is 13/10 for Llorente to score anytime in the match.
Tottenham to Win and Over 2.5 goals (6/5)
Llorente to score anytime (13/10)