Paul Merson has backed Newcastle United to get their top-four chase back on track with a win over Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.
Spurs threw away three golden chances to take big steps forward in the Champions League hunt, but came up short against Everton, Southampton and Bournemouth in the last month or so.
In the meantime, Newcastle and Man United have made up points on the Lilywhites and now sit third and fourth respectively in the Premier League table.
Spurs are currently six points behind the Red Devils and three behind the Magpies, with both clubs having a game in hand on Cristian Stellini’s side.
Tottenham do have to play both of their top four rivals in the next two weeks, so will have a chance to win a couple of six-pointers in the Champions League race, but anything short of that will likely see them spend a season outside of Europe’s elite competition.
Merson told Sportskeeda: “Eddie Howe has been brilliant for Newcastle but if they keep losing games like they did last week, things could change. They’ve got to get into the top four now.
“A couple of big defeats and the board will start wondering how far Eddie Howe can take this team.
This is a massive match. Both teams had absolute shockers last week. I thought Tottenham were definitely going to beat Bournemouth.
“Their season’s on the line, and if they lose this game, that’ll be it. If they lose to Newcastle, they’ll be lucky if they finish in fifth place.
If Newcastle lose this game, alarm bells will start ringing – they need to raise their standards. Eddie Howe needs a big result and I think they’ll pull it off against Tottenham this week.”
Prediction: Newcastle 2-1 Tottenham
Spurs Web Opinion
Everything points towards a Newcastle United home win with the way that Tottenham have been playing for the past month – or the whole season for that matter.
However, both the Magpies and Lilywhites have been unpredictable of late so who knows what will happen. I suspect one will turn up and the other will have a shocker, I just really don’t know which is which.
Have something to tell us about this article?