It certainly hasn’t been ideal preparation for the opening day of the season, with the club scrambling to sign players before the transfer window closes.
However, Rafa Benitez will have the team well prepared to face Spurs tomorrow afternoon at St James’ Park, and Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson backs us to get a goalless draw:
“This is a tough one. This was an early game last year, and Spurs got a couple of late goals, but I feel they’ll find it hard due to the World Cup.”
“Spurs just haven’t got their players back. Rafa Benitez will make them hard to beat. Spurs won’t have the goals early on so Newcastle will hold on this year. I’m going for a goalless draw.”
Spurs’s squad is looking pretty threadbare. It’s unlikely that the likes of Hugo Lloris, Harry Kane and Dele Alli will be ready to start after their World Cup exertions, although manager Mauricio Pochettino may have no choice but to take a chance with one or two.
They also have injuries to other players who weren’t away on international duty this summer with Victor Wanyama and Erik Lamela not fit to play.
With the early kick-off, we could catch our opponents cold, and while I agree with Merson that Rafa will look to keep things tight, there is a case to be made for starting fast against a team who are not the best prepared for the new season.