Tottenham go on their longest away Premiership trip of the season on Sunday, visiting St James’ Park in Newcastle for the 17th time since the Premier League’s inception.
In those 17 games Spurs have emerged victorious just three times, losing ten games at the home of the Magpies. Newcastle have also scored over double the number of goals that Spurs have at St James’ Park, but those results are slightly skewed by two exceptional games, namely Newcastle’s 7-1 mauling of the Lilywhites in 1996 and their 4-0 victory in 2003.
The recent head-to-heads aren’t terribly promising either, Spurs having failed to secure all three points in Tyne & Wear since 2004/05.
To be honest though, it is possibly a revenge mission by the Magpies having failed to claim a win at home to Spurs until that 1996 game.
However, Spurs are on a bit of a run themselves, looking to claim their fifth successive Premier League victory, a feat not achieved since April/May 2007 under Martin Jol.
Highlights for Spurs at the second oldest Premier League ground (oldest is Stamford Bridge in case you’re wondering) include a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Darren Anderton and Gus Poyet and a 1-0 victory in the Lilywhites’ first Premiership trip to Tyneside.
Spurs have finished above the Geordies eight times since the Premiership began and in five of those seasons won the opening fixture between the two sides so will be keen to take the win.
And Newcastle may be happy to let them have this victory, as the last time the first fixture was won by Newcastle and was at St James’ Park, the Barcodes got relegated.
There have been 102 goals in 34 games between these two teams at an average of exactly four goals per game and there hasn’t been a single 0-0 draw. In fact, there has only been fewer than two goals scored six times and four or more goals have been scored 12 times.
Spurs have traditionally been stronger in the first half, scoring 26 first half goals to Newcastle’s 23, but the Magpies must have some pretty good team talks, seeing as they have scored 33 second-half goals to Tottenham’s 20.
Seven of those Newcastle goals have come from the boot or head of their talismanic striker Alan Shearer, whilst Tottenham’s highest goalscorers in this fixture are Teddy Sheringham and Darren Anderton with four apiece.
Finally, Spurs appear to have an ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, make ‘em join you’ attitude. Ten of Newcastle’s goals against Spurs in the Premiership have been scored by players who would go on to play for the Lilywhites, namely Les Ferdinand (5), Ruel Fox (2), David Ginola, Jermaine Jenas and Scott Parker (1 each).
By Jamie Frier
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