In a summer riddled with big-time money moves and transfer splashes, the Tottenham Hotspur really didn’t engage in any of that. They brought in nobody to bolster an already solid lineup, and while their fans may be disappointed – it might work out for the best when the season is all set to conclude.
This is a Spurs side that is immensely familiar with one another, and perhaps better than any other squad – they implement their manager’s tactics and desires with impeccable precision. The Spurs really have become a fascinating team to watch, and led by Harry Kane – they will again be pushing hard for top-four finish in this season’s Premier League. Tottenham will also be opening the brand new version of thier stadium White Hart Lane later this month, and that should further the excitement in north London.
Tottenham’s week one opponents will be a big club that has fallen on tough times. Newcastle United are no longer the perennial threat they used to be, and things don’t seem to going all too well up in Newcastle at the moment. Arguably their most important piece of the squad is their talented manager Rafa Benitez, and he recently came out and questioned the commitment level of ownership to the team. Newcastle too didn’t make the splashes necessary to meaningfully compete in the EPL this year, and without a doubt they will likely be on relegation alert this campaign. With all the turmoil within their camp, you have to wonder which Newcastle side shows up on Saturday afternoon.
As will be the case all season long, read on below for detailed news and analysis for some of the Premier League’s top matches. In this column, we’ll recommend a bet and breakdown the Spurs and Newcastle match which kicks the Saturday slate off for Gameweek One. A reminder that this game will kickoff at 7:30 AM EST, so be sure to set your alarm clocks!
Newcastle United vs. Tottenham Hotspur Betting Odds:
Newcastle United (+275)
Tottenham Hotspur (-101)
Over 2.5 (-101)
Under 2.5 (-119)
Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Newcastle United vs. Tottenham Hotspur Pick:
The Spurs had a ton of players feature prominently in this past year’s World Cup, and I think they are being undervalued as a result to kick things off.
Though many of their top players played key roles this summer, I don’t think we will see adverse effects until deeper in the season. If anything, right now I think it means they will start off as the more in-form side, before having a bit of a lull mid-way through the Premier League campaign.
The Spurs will begin their season by heading to England’s Northeast and taking on the Magpies of Newcastle, a truly wild-card team this season. With rifts in the camp and roster uncertainty, they have the talent to compete but you have to wonder about the atmosphere.
Newcastle’s pre-season friendly schedule was not all that inspiring either. Their last match saw them drop a 1-0 score to Augsburg, in which they were brutal in the final third and couldn’t buy a goal. This week, they’ll likely employ a 4-4-1-1 formation and go with new face Salomon Rondon up top as the lone striker. On paper, there doesn’t seem to be nearly enough firepower to trouble this Spurs’ squad.
For the Spurs, it seems as if Mauricio Pocchetino is being extra cautious with his World Cup players. Harry Kane and Dele Alli are the two main starters that remain in doubt for the Spurs. If they do end up featuring, it should give Tottenham a decisive advantage.
But even without that English duo, look for Pocchetino to still be able to field a talented and creative attack-minded lineup. He’ll go with Fernando Llorente up top, surrounded by playmakers in Son Heung-min and Denmark’s Christian Eriksen. Eric Dier is also expected to take up his traditional holding midfield role and will be crucial in winning balls and controlling the match from that position. The Spurs still have some questions at their wing-back positions, but if they have the majority of the ball – I can’t foresee them being troubled consistently enough for it to matter.
Both these sides were quite inactive in the transfer market, but only one team and manager have grumbled about it. The surroundings in Newcastle with Rafa Benitez’s side don’t seem pleasant at the moment, and I’d venture to guess that seeps into the team on Saturday afternoon. Tottenham has great depth even without their World Cup stars featuring, and they should be able to sneak a road victory and continue their stellar away form in Week One.
PICK = Tottenham Hotspur (-101)