Newcastle United vs Tottenham Hotspur – Preview
– Newcastle United have lost just one of their last eight Barclays Premier League matches at St James Park (W4 D3).
– The Magpies have won one of their last five league home fixtures against Tottenham Hotspur (W1 D2 L2).
– Newcastle have kept just one clean sheet in their last 22 BPL meetings with Spurs.
– If Spurs win this fixture, they will beat their highest ever points tally in a single season set in 2012/13 (72)
Referee: Anthony Taylor Assistants: M Mullarkey, S Child Fourth Official: N Swarbrick
Rafa Benitez has encouraged Newcastle United fans to focus their energies on supporting the current team this weekend, rather than think about former managers or players.
Crystal Palace come to St. James’ Park in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday (3pm kick-off), led by ex-Magpies boss Alan Pardew and with French midfielder Yohan Cabaye in their ranks.
After four years on Tyneside, Pardew left the Club in December 2014 to join Palace, and he returns for the first time to face a United team fighting for their top flight survival.
Benitez received a positive reception from both sets of fans at his former club Liverpool last weekend, and when asked what response Pardew will expect, he said: “Every manager is different.
“When I was at Liverpool we won the Champions League and a lot of trophies.
“(Pardew) did well here at the beginning. I remember him finishing fifth with Newcastle so I know he’s a good manager. Afterwards things didn’t go so well but he’s doing a good job (at Crystal Palace).
“I’m hope, and I’m sure, the fans will be concentrating on supporting the team. What makes the difference is the players on the pitch, not the managers.”
Also returning is Cabaye, who spent two-and-a-half years in the famous black and white striped shirt, making 93 appearances, and Benitez believes the former Paris Saint-Germain and Lilles star will be a threat on Saturday.
“Cabaye is a very good player,” continued the boss.
“He has the quality to organise and play. He is dangerous passing the ball, from set-pieces and crosses, so we have to make sure we keep an eye on him.
“Our main focus at the moment is to get three points and move on to the next game.”