Newcastle United visit the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the first time on Sunday for a game that is being televised live on Sky Sports, with a 4.30pm kick-off.

It is a game that most people will be viewing as a comfortable home win, but Newcastle will be hoping for an upset, and pick up their first points of the season.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

With little expectation, it could be a good thing for the Magpies, allowing them to play with freedom, and little pressure – as long as they do not go down to a cricket score.

It could also give Steve Bruce the chance to tinker with his formation, and he may want to try playing four at the back, as opposed to his three centre-back preference in the opening two games, which did not really work.

Much will depend on who is available for selection, and a sell-out away section will be hoping the players at least give a good account of themselves in front of a national audience, regardless of what the score is.

Early injury news

Newcastle will again be without DeAndre Yedlin, Andy Carroll, Florian Lejeune and Christian Atsu, and while Dwight Gayle has a very slight chance of being available, a lack of any game time would make his inclusion extremely unlikely.

(Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images)

There is better news on two of the new signings, however, with early signs suggesting Joelinton is likely to recover from the hip injury which forced him off at Norwich, and enigmatic winger Allan Saint-Maximin also likely to be fit and eager to play.

If Saint-Maximin is available, it would be a surprise to no one if he gets his first start of the season on Sunday.

Tottenham are likely to be without England star Dele Alli, with him struggling to be fully fit, as he gets over a hamstring problem that kept him out of the opening two games.

Rated as having a 25 per cent chance of being fit, it would suggest he will be left out of a game the hosts will expect to win without him.

(Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

New signing Ryan Sessegnon and Juan Foyth are both still out, while Ben Davies is the most likely of the injured quartet to be included in the squad, following groin surgery during the summer break.

But ominously, scorer of the winning goal last season, Heung-min Son, returns from suspension following his sending off against Bournemouth at the end of last season.

Referee: Mike Dean

The Cheshire official takes charge of the game this weekend, with him not having brandished a red card yet this season, following a Premier League topping 10 last campaign.

(Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images)

In fact, Dean has shown a whopping 100 red cards during his Premier League officiating career, alongside a staggering 1,767 yellow cards – seven of which have come this season already.


Dean took charge of Newcastle for three Premier League games last season, showing a red card to DeAndre Yedlin in a 2-1 home defeat to Wolves, and showing 17 yellow cards – seven for Newcastle and 10 for the opposition – while awarding one penalty, for Bournemouth in a 2-2 draw on the South coast.

He was in charge of five Spurs games, and showed 21 yellows (13 for Spurs) and one red, sending off Cardiff’s Joe Ralls. He awarded one penalty to Tottenham, and three against them.

Points to prove

As ever, Moussa Sissoko is likely to be targeted by the away fans, and will be hoping to silence his Geordie critics with a match-winning performance.

(Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images)

The French midfielder has played every minute of both Premier League games so far for the North London side, but often underwhelms in games against his former club.

Newcastle – and Steve Bruce in particular – will want to show what his side can do, in the wake of heavy criticism of both himself and the players after the Norwich debacle last weekend.

He will want to show that the job is not too big for him, and will be hoping he can prove the doubters wrong in front of the television cameras.

Likely formations

Newcastle’s formation is very much up for debate, with no one really knowing whether Bruce will stick or twist.

Having played three centre backs in both previous games, it would not be a surprise if he changes it up, and goes for a 4-4-1-1 lineup on Sunday.

Mauricio Pochettino employed a 4-3-1-2 formation in the opening weekend win at home to Aston Villa, and changed it to a slightly more cautious 4-2-3-1 for a very credible draw at champions Manchester City last weekend.

It would be a surprise if he did not opt for the more offensive lineup against Newcastle.

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