Tottenham Hotspur host an in-form Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.
Spurs were on the end of an impressive Manchester United display in midweek, falling to their second defeat of the league season which prompted Antonio Conte to lament his side’s struggles in “high-level games”.
Supercharged by controversially sourced and cleverly implemented millions, Newcastle are threatening to become another “high-level” opponent. The Magpies are unbeaten in six matches and boast the best defensive record in the division.
Here’s everything you need to know about this intriguing encounter.
Tottenham: 3 Wins
Newcastle: 0 Wins
Despite Richarlison’s immediate fears, the Brazilian’s calf injury isn’t deemed to be too serious – though he will miss out this Sunday. His compatriot Emerson Royal, however, is once again available after serving a three-match suspension.
Conte confirmed that Dejan Kulusevski, who has sat out the last six matches, will continue to be unavailable.
Tottenham Starting 11 (3-5-2): Lloris; Romero, Dier, Lenglet; Emerson, Bentancur, Bissouma, Hojbjerg, Perisic; Kane, Son.
Bench: Forster, Skipp, Sanchez, Bryan, Sessegnon, Spence, Moura, Doherty, Davies.
Joelinton was forced off with a knock to his knee against Everton in midweek. Although, Eddie Howe was keen to downplay the severity of the injury.
Alexander Isak and Allan Saint-Maximin both suffered setbacks in their recoveries from thigh problems. Isak definitely won’t return before the World Cup but Saint-Maximin has a chance of featuring – though not on Sunday.
Matt Ritchie (calf) and backup goalkeeper Karl Darlow (ankle) are set to miss out this weekend while Emil Krafth remains a long-term absentee.
Newcastle Starting 11 (4-3-3): Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Longstaff, Guimaraes, Willock; Almiron, Wilson, Murphy.
Bench: Karius, Lascelles, Shelvey, Lewis, Targett, Wood, Fraser, Anderson, Joelinton.
The volley of shots Hugo Lloris was forced to stop naturally caught the eye but the lack of opportunities Spurs created against Manchester United, who accurately pressed Tottenham’s midfielders, may be of more concern to Conte – and interest to Howe.
Newcastle have emerged as one of the division’s most proactive pressers this term and will surely try to stymy Tottenham’s build-up. However, while that may well be their plan, Spurs aren’t third purely by luck.
It certainly won’t be a straightforward afternoon but Tottenham should have enough to bounce back and extend their 100% home record.
Prediction: Tottenham 3-1 Newcastle