Friday, April 17, 2009

Newcastle faces must win against Tottenham

Following Saturday's results in the Premier League, Newcastle's "must-win" situation has never been more serious. Wins by Sunderland and Stoke City along with Middlesbrough's hard-earned draw with Fulham leave the Magpies only above West Brom in the Premier League table as the pack moves away from them. That said, the Sunday afternoon visit of White Hart Lane will be met with the toughest of opponents as Tottenham can climb within a point of a Europa League berth with a victory.

The big news for Alan Shearer is that he will have Mark Viduka, although from previous experience his fitness levels have been well below par. Obefami Martins will give it a go despite being less than fully-fit and in this situation, everyone will be forced to gut out the match. Late decisions will be made on Steven Taylor, José Enrique and Fabricio Coloccini and should they not be able to go, Alan Shearer will have considerable issues juggling his lineup. To complicate matters for the Magpies Harry Redknapp is expected to welcome Jermain Defoe back as well as Wilson Palacios from the sin-bin, although Jermaine Jenas and Russian international Roman Pavlyuchenko are likely to miss.

With forty points as the clear target, Newcastle is in dire need of a win against Tottenham. Following Sunday's match they face Portsmouth, Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Fulham and Aston Villa in successive weeks in the battle to avoid relegation.