Gareth Bale has scored twice in recent weeks. Image courtesy of metro.co.uk/Reuters
On the surface, Tottenham Hotspur appears to be in a great position, sitting fourth in the EPL following a nine-game unbeaten run. But dig a little deeper and Spurs will have to produce far more if they’re to overtake Chelsea and grab that vital third spot and a position in next season’s Champions League.
Tottenham finally snapped a run of three straight draws last weekend with a 1-0 win away to slumping West Bromwich Albion. But finding the back of the net is becoming a major issue for the north London side. They’ve scored just four goals in their past five starts in all competitions, and have only produced one game with multiple goals in their last four at home. Jermaine Defoe’s ankle injury has made matters worse, although Spurs do regain Emmanuel Adebayor after Togo was knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations. Two of Tottenham’s goals of late have been superb individual efforts from Gareth Bale, so they’ll need to rediscover their magic in front of goal in the run home. Manager Andre Villas-Boas also has a Europa League tie with French side Lyon to think about next week.
Newcastle United has struggled this season after an excellent campaign last time around, but things are picking up in the north of England thanks to back-to-back wins. A 2-1 win away to Aston Villa was followed up by a stunning 3-2 victory over Chelsea, thanks in large part to a pair of goals by new signing Moussa Sissoko. The Geordies have taken points from their past two away fixtures, with the result at Villa Park coming after a scoreless draw with Norwich City. In general, though, the Magpies have been appalling away from St James’s Park, picking up just eight of a possible 36 points.
Tottenham has won the past three clashes between the teams at White Hart Lane, but Newcastle did win their previous Premier League match-up this season 2-1 back in August.
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