KICK OFF: Sunday 4th April 2021, 2:05PMEmbed from Getty Images
Newcastle United resume their ambitions to stay in the Barclays Premier League with a tough home match against top-four chasers Tottenham Hotspur at St James Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Magpies are winless in their last six games stretching back to their win over Southampton at the start of February.
Steve Bruce’s side will be looking to get back to winning ways after their dour performance against relegation rivals Brighton in a 3-0 defeat at the Amex Stadium.
From being 11th and just two points off a European spot on December 12 to desperately hanging on for survival, it has been quite a dramatic fall for Newcastle over the past four months as they now look to battle it out for safety with Scott Parker’s Fulham who are in 18th two behind Steve Bruce’s men.
Newcastle know they need to start putting wins on the board, and salvaging a draw like they did in the reverse fixture in September, they know, will not be enough this time around. The 11 points they’ve picked up since mid-December is the fewest of any Premier League side over that period, yet Bruce remains manager with nine games to go.
Meanwhile, Tottenham, are on a bout of form despite the negativity surrounding Mourinho’s men. They’ve won four of their last five and their win over Aston Villa before the international break catapulted them to sixth place, only just three points behind a resurgent Chelsea in fourth.Embed from Getty Images
The aim for Mourinho over the next seven weeks is clear – win the EFL Cup and finish fourth in the Premier League – so hitting the ground running this weekend will be hugely imperative.
Steve Bruce has been without key men Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson for a number of weeks however, the former will be in contention to play a part in Sunday’s game.
The match will come too soon for Callum Wilson to make his much-needed return to action.
Goalkeeper Martin Dubravka picked up a stomach bug on international duty for Slovakia and will be assessed before the game.
As for Tottenham, Erik Lamela will be back after serving a one-game ban for his red card in the North London derby defeat to Arsenal
Key man Son-Heung Min has been passed fit to return to action while Ben Davies returned early from international duty with a “substantial” injury so may not make the game.
Fellow full-backs Matt Doherty and Sergio Reguillon are also fitness doubts, so Japhet Tanganga may be rewarded with another start at full-back.
Newcastle United: Darlow; Manquillo, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett; Willock, Shelvey, Hendrick; Joelinton, Almiron, Fraser
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Tanganga, Sanchez, Rodon, Reguilon; Lo Celso, Ndombele, Hojbjerg, Lucas; Son, Kane
SCORE PREDICTION: Newcastle 0-2 Aston Villa
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