Antonio%20Conte%20sidelines%201280

Tottenham back on track

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte was one of five Premier League managers nominated for March’s manager of the month award, whilst Harry Kane and Dejan Kulusevski are also in the running for the player equivalent after a fruitful month. Spurs moved up to fifth having won three and lost one of their matches last month, scoring 12 goals in the process.

The most recent outing was a convincing 3-1 home success over a weary West Ham outfit. Son Heung-min and Kane were involved in all three goals and the margin of victory could have been wider with Son hitting the post, and Kane twice setting Sergio Reguilon free with only the keeper to beat. Spurs impressively won the shot count 17-6.

Speaking post-match, Conte suggested things are “starting to work” on the field. He said, “We have this ambition, the ambition is to target fourth. We want to stay in this race until the end. It’s very difficult, but we are improving in a way that I like. This team is growing in the mentality, they are learning to control the game and this is very important.”

Newcastle fall to late defeats

Newcastle are on course to be the first team to survive relegation after not winning any of their first 14 Premier League matches with Eddie Howe‘s resurgent side sitting nine points above the drop-zone as we head for home. However, the Magpies’ recent nine-game unbeaten streak was ended at Chelsea, before an unlucky defeat away at Everton.

In both 1-0 defeats, the Toon conceded late goals. The Goodison Park reverse was particularly galling with Newcastle in control for large swathes of that showdown; Joelinton made a positive impact on his return to the side, whilst Bruno Guimaraes made the Magpies tick at the base of the midfield on only his third start since joining club in January.

Without any FA Cup commitments and heading into the international break, the Toon took the opportunity to enjoy a warm-weather training camp in Dubai to rest and refresh with 17 days to prepare for their next assignment at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. But Callum Wilson and Kieran Trippier remain unavailable despite making good progress with injuries.

Tottenham have largely enjoyed their head-to-head meetings with Newcastle since the Magpies returned to the Premier League in 2017/18. In nine league encounters during that sample, Spurs have taken top honours on six occasions, including the reverse match-up at St James’ Park (W6-D2-L1). However, at home the hosts have managed W2-D1-L2 since 2014.

Tottenham 1.548/15 have been mired in inconsistency since Antonio Conte arrived but appear to be finally moving in the direction.

Spurs have succeeded in five of their past seven Premier League outings (W5-D0-L2) and have returned W6-D1-L2 at their North London base under the Italian. The Lilywhites have W8-D0-L2 at home to sides below sixth.

Newcastle’s 7.206/1 eye-catching revival deserves plenty of plaudits, although it’s worth noting that the Toon won the Expected Goals (xG) battle in only three of their unbeaten nine-games. The Magpies have also toiled when taking on the top teams, picking up just five of their 31-point tally against the top-half (W1-D2-L11), including W0-D1-L7 on the road.

Tottenham have found their range under Antonio Conte, scoring twice or more in six of their last seven league dates. Spurs are averaging 1.86 goals per-game on home soil and have notched multiple goals in eight fixtures with sides outside the top-six at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Overall, 71% of their games here have seen Over 2.5 Goals 1.875/6.

Despite being famed for his attack-minded stint at Bournemouth, Eddie Howe has presided over a series of strong and stable defensive efforts since taking charge at Newcastle. Only three of the Magpies’ 11 games since Christmas have produced three or more goals, whilst seven of his overall 18 league matches have paid out for Over 2.5 Goals backers.

With that in mind, I’m happy to side with Tottenham to win and Under 4.5 Goals at 1.738/11. Spurs appear to have turned a corner and should have too much in the final-third with Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski all in fine form. Newcastle will undoubtedly offer resistance but the Toon’s best efforts have come against fellow bottom-half rivals.





Source link