Newcastle United are back in the Premier League. Rafa Benitez’s side were expected to win the Championship title last season and they did but only just. Brighton & Hove Albion were in the driving seat but a late goal on the final day of the campaign took the title to St James’ Park – much to the delight of the Newcastle faithful.
But it is now time for Benitez’s side to look forward. An opening encounter with Tottenham Hotspur, one of the leading contenders in the Premier League title race in each of the last two years, won’t be easy.
With Harry Kane, Golden Boot winner in both of those seasons, in fine form, Spurs could run riot on Sunday afternoon.
Newcastle United: Back Where They Belong
Simply put, Newcastle aren’t a Championship calibre side. The Magpies have dropped down to England’s second tier twice in recent years but they’ve earned promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
Newcastle represent good value at 17/4 to beat Tottenham this weekend – and plenty of punters will fancy the north east side to do the business. St James’ Park can be a fortress and the Geordie faithful will relish being back in England’s top flight.
The Magpies are still short of Premier League quality and Benitez will do his utmost to sign a few more players before the transfer window slams shut. Attracting top talent shouldn’t be too difficult now that Newcastle are back on the big stage – and the Magpies will fancy their chances of staying for a prolonged spell.
Dwight Gayle will lead the line for Newcastle for the most part of the season and the former Crystal Palace man could cause Tottenham plenty of issues on Sunday. A clear gulf in class between Gayle and the rest of the Championship was evident last year and the Newcastle forward will be looking to make a positive impact on his return to the top flight.
Should Gayle, priced at 12/5 to score against Spurs, see an opportunity fall his way, he could open his account for the new Premier League campaign. It is sure to be an exciting contest at St James’ Park if nothing else...
Harry Kane Can Put Newcastle To The Sword
If anyone is capable of winning a football match single-handedly, it is Kane. The Spurs star is, and has been, Tottenham’s talisman for the last three years and Mauricio Pochettino will be expecting another big campaign.
Previously labelled as a “one-season wonder”, Kane is now regarded as one of the best out-and-out strikers in European football and he could be set to score a hatful of goals throughout the 2017/18 season.
Ahead of Sunday’s clash, 888Sport are offering an enhanced price of 7/4 for Kane to score at any time and Spurs to win. The England man, fresh from a fairly relaxed summer with no major international commitments, will be looking to hit the ground running and he has an excellent record against Newcastle.
Spurs had one of the best defensive units in England’s top flight last term but Pochettino’s side will look very difficult heading into the new campaign. Kyle Walker left White Hart Lane for Manchester City last month and Danny Rose has been at the centre of controversy in recent days.
A few weeks ago, a Spurs win to nil would have been my tip but backing the visitors to keep a clean sheet is not as easy these days...
The mood at St James’ Park has changed since Rafa Benitez took over and it wouldn’t be an outrageous result if Newcastle United were to sneak a point here.
Tottenham Hotspur must adapt quickly in order to start well but Mauricio Pochettino’s men are capable of doing just that. Keeping tabs on Harry Kane may prove too difficult for the Magpies and I fancy Spurs to come away with the win.
Newcastle United 1-2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (currently 7/1 with 888Sport)