MX23RW : Wednesday, August 4 20:21:18| >> :120:12414:12414:
May 15, 2016 at 3pm UK at St James' Park
Attendance: 52,183
NewcastleNewcastle United
5-1
SpursTottenham Hotspur
Wijnaldum (19', 73' pen.), Mitrovic (39'), Aarons (84'), Janmaat (86')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Lamela (61')

Preview: Newcastle United vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Sports Mole previews Newcastle United's Premier League finale against Tottenham Hotspur at St James' Park.

There is a sombre atmosphere around St James' Park ahead of Newcastle United's final Premier League game before preparing for life in the Championship.

Rafael Benitez's side were relegated on Wednesday after their North-East enemies Sunderland earned a 3-0 triumph over Everton.

In contrast, the Magpies' weekend opponents Tottenham are celebrating qualifying for the Champions League and their manager Mauricio Pochettino signing a new contract.


Newcastle United

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez dreams of Istanbul ahead of his side's Premier League meeting with Manchester City on April 19, 2016© Getty Images

Benitez was brought in as Steve McClaren's replacement for the final 10 Premier League games of the season with the aim of saving Newcastle from relegation, but the Spaniard has not fulfilled his objective.

On Wednesday night, the Magpies dropped into the Championship for the second time in seven years, and it was a double blow given that their local rivals Sunderland were the ones to hammer the final nail in the coffin.

In his nine games in charge, Benitez has guided the team to just two victories - against Swansea City and Crystal Palace - three defeats and four draws.

Last weekend's goalless draw with Aston Villa strongly hampered the club's chances of relegation as it put the battle at the bottom into Sunderland's hands.

Now tomorrow's clash against Tottenham Hotspur is meaningless as the Magpies will only be playing for pride in front of their home fans before they drop into the second tier of English football.

The question now is whether or not Benitez stays on as manager. The Spaniard has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave the club if they get relegated.

The choice is up to the 56-year-old, whose majority of managerial experience is at the top level given that he has coached Liverpool, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Napoli and Real Madrid.

Recent form: LWDDWD


Tottenham Hotspur

Mauricio Pochettino applauds after the Premier League game between Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur on April 18, 2016© Getty Images

At the start of the season, Tottenham would have been more than happy with a top-four finish and automatic qualification into the group stages of the Champions League.

However, there will be a tinge of disappointment among Spurs fans as the club failed to secure the Premier League title in what has been their best chance in years of being crowned English champions.

Perhaps the manner of Tottenham's exit from the title race made it that much more disappointing for the club as their hopes were dashed by London rivals Chelsea.

Harry Kane and Son Heung-min gave Spurs a 2-0 lead heading into the half-time break at Stamford Bridge on May 2, but goals from Gary Cahill and Eden Hazard restricted them to a 2-2 draw, which handed the trophy to Leicester City.

Not only was the result disappointing, but anger bubbled over among both sets of players, which resulted in two mass brawls as well as a handful of other incidents.

The Football Association was forced into action after the game as it charged both clubs for failing to control their players, while Mousa Dembele was slapped with a six-game ban for eye-gouging Chelsea striker Diego Costa.

After that game, Pochettino had a disappointing visit from his former club Southampton, who grabbed a 2-1 victory at White Hart Lane, meaning that Tottenham's North London rivals could finish above them in second if they win and Spurs lose to Newcastle.

Despite missing out on the title, Tottenham have had an impressive season given that they are the second-highest scorers in the league with 68 goals, only two fewer than Manchester City's total.

Plus, Tottenham have the best defence in the division as they have conceded 30 goals, which is the fewest out of all 20 clubs heading into the final weekend.

In addition, Spurs have managed to tie down Pochettino to a new long-term contract, dispelling any rumours that he could be poached by rivals.

Recent form: DWWDDL


Team News

Jack Colback rues missing a chance during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Newcastle United on May 7, 2016© Getty Images

Benitez may stick with the same XI that he has started in the last two fixtures, meaning that Fabricio Coloccini is unlikely to make an appearance in Newcastle's final Premier League game.

The Argentine has been struggling with injuries for some time, while Rob Elliot, Tim Krul and Massadio Haidara are all long-term absentees.

As for Tottenham, they will be without the suspended Dembele and Dele Alli, while Danny Rose and Toby Alderweireld will also miss out due to injuries.

Ryan Mason is likely to keep his place in the lineup after replacing Dembele against Southampton last weekend, while Kane should lead the line.

Newcastle United possible starting lineup:
Darlow; Dummett, Mbemba, Lascelles, Anita; Tiote, Colback; Townsend, Wijnaldum, Sissoko; Cisse

Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Walker, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Rose; Mason, Dier; Lamela, Eriksen, Son; Kane


Head To Head

Newcastle have only suffered defeat in one of their last eight league matches at St James' Park, but in their last five meetings with Spurs at home, they have lost two, drawn two and won one.

Spurs have found it easy to score against the Magpies as the North-East outfit have only managed to keep one clean sheet in their previous 22 league matches against the North London outfit.

Earlier in the season, though, Newcastle were able to earn a 2-1 triumph over Spurs at White Hart Lane.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Newcastle United 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur

Despite the disappointment of relegation, Newcastle's fans will be determined to roar their team to victory in their final Premier League game of the season. They have only managed to win twice in their last nine games, though, and they face the second-highest scorers in the division. Spurs have enough quality to get a result at St James' Park and wrap up their season with a win.



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Mauricio Pochettino congratulates Dele Alli during the Premier League game between Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur on April 18, 2016
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