Newcastle United can secure their first league double of the season by beating European hopefuls Tottenham, but they come into it having lost each of their last five games.
It has been yet another season of frustration for those on Tyneside, and some have chosen this encounter as the one to boycott in protest of a perceived lack of ambition among the hierarchy. Barring a good run between October and December under Alan Pardew, the evidence of this season suggests that they must invest heavily in the squad.
There were occasional moments in the last game at Liverpool where the Magpies did look like they could threaten a goal, but with Papiss Cisse still absent through suspension and Ayoze Perez appearing to be low on confidence; they have nobody in the side to score on a regular basis.
Harry Kane has served that purpose for Spurs throughout this season, but has barely been noticed over the course of the last two games, as the North London team have lacked any kind of attacking momentum in firing uninspiring blanks against Burnley and Aston Villa.
Those performances were far removed from the dynamism and energy that was a feature of their play soon after the turn of the year, so manager Mauricio Pochettino will be demanding an improvement from his more creative players. Victory will take them back above Southampton and into sixth spot.
Moussa Sissoko serves a two-match ban following his sending off at Anfield, but captain Fabricio Coloccini is back available along with long-term absentee Siem De Jong.
Tottenham are hopeful of the fitness of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who has missed the last two games. Kyle Walker and Jan Vertonghen are slight doubts.
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