English Premier League Picks: Tottenham vs. New Castle
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 11/7/2013
It is an early kickoff at The Lane on Sunday as the fourth-place Tottenham Hotspur square off against ninth-place New Castle. When these teams kick off at 7:00 a.m. EST on Sunday morning, good luck trying to stay awake until half. Tottenham continues to struggle finding an offensive identity following the summer sale of the “Welsh Wonder” Gareth Bale to Real Madrid this summer.
Despite the windfall of cash, and the club breaking its own transfer fee record three times this summer, the Spurs have not gelled offensively and currently have one of those record-breaking transfers, Erik Lamela, sitting on the sidelines. In turn, the Spurs have tightened up their game defensively and have spent most of their home matches playing some boring football by controlling possession in the midfield and squeaking out late wins.
The Magpies will be entering the match on a high note following a surprising 2-0 win against Chelsea at home on Saturday. It was a much-needed win as the team was coming off a devastating 84th-minute derby loss to a lowly Sunderland squad and a mid-week elimination from the Capital One Cup to Manchester City. Following 10 matches, Newcastle has nestled itself in the middle of the table, six points from relegation and six points from the top four.
Tottenham vs. New Castle Betting Story Lines
Tottenham will have a mid-week Europa match, but this should not be a cause for concern since the team was able to use its windfall of cash from the sale of Bale to add a level of depth to the team, which it lacked last year.
The Spurs’ last League match was a 0-0 draw to Everton at Goodison Park, and if you can believe it, the team actually seems to play better offensively on the road than at home. Tottenham came out with a purpose at the beginning of the match but were unable to capitalize and the proceeded to fall back into their usual midfield possession dominance. The closest thing to end up in the back of the net in this match was Tottenham goal keeper Hugo Lloris’ head as it was nearly ripped off by Everton’s Romelu Lukaku’s knee as he charged through the box. Lloris was rendered nearly unconscious but was able to remain on the pitch to finish out the match, although the Frenchman may not have realized this. Following the match, CT scans were performed on the goal keeper and showed no ill effects. He should be between the pipes during Sunday’s match.
Tottenham vs. New Castle Betting Odds and Trends
At Bovada, the “over/under” has been set at 2.5, with the under priced at +110. Excluding the West Ham debacle where the Spurs lost 3-0, the club has conceded only two goals this campaign. The Magpies have averaged only 1.2 PPG for away matches this year and are unlikely to improve against Tottenham.
In Premier League play, the under is 9-1 for Spurs’ matches, with the only over coming from the 3-0 defeat to West Ham, while the Magpies have only stayed under the total in three of its 10 matches.
English Premier League Predictions: Tottenham vs. New Castle
New Castle matches have generally been offensive affairs, with midfielders and forwards dictating pace and scoring opportunities aplenty. Tottenham games have been just the opposite, with both teams seemingly waiting for counter opportunities to attack. With the way the Spurs have been able to dominate possession at White Hart Lane, expect the home side to control possession, limit New Castle opportunities and keep this match under the posted total of 2.5
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