Tottenham v Newcastle preview: Eric Dier misses out as Spurs chase top-four spot
Last Updated: 09/05/18 11:04pm
Tottenham still need points to secure Champions League football when they host Newcastle at Wembley on Wednesday night.
Spurs are fourth in the table and their chances of a top-four finish remain in their own hands, though Saturday's shock 1-0 defeat at West Brom allowed fifth-placed Chelsea to close the gap to two points with two games to play.
Mauricio Pochettino's side have two home games remaining - Leicester visit Wembley on the final day - and four points should be enough to guarantee a top-four finish.
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Indeed, a Champions League spot could be sealed on Wednesday evening if Chelsea slip up at home to Huddersfield, and the Spurs manager is happy their fate is under their control.
He said: "It is still in our hands to be third. I feel disappointed after the weekend in the way that we lost the three points but we need to move on."
Newcastle start the game in 10th place, but have lost three matches in a row since securing their Premier League survival with a win over Arsenal last month.
Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier has been ruled out through illness, but Jan Vertonghen is fit to play despite picking up an ankle injury on Saturday
Defender Serge Aurier (hamstring) will also miss the game, but is being assessed to see if he can be available for Sunday's match against Leicester City, as is Mousa Dembele who continues to recover from an ankle injury but will not be involved on Wednesday night.
Harry Winks will definitely miss the final two matches of the season because of an ankle injury.
Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is not expecting to make many changes from the side that lost to West Ham on Saturday.
Islam Slimani remains suspended for lashing out at West Brom's Craig Dawson earlier this month.
Spurs, who won 2-0 at St. James' Park in August, are looking to achieve their first league double over Newcastle since the 2004/05 campaign.
Newcastle have won their last three away Premier League visits to Spurs, with Ayoze Perez scoring the winning goal on the last two occasions.
Spurs have won their last 17 home Premier League games against promoted sides since a 2-1 defeat to Norwich City in April 2012.
Newcastle haven't visited Wembley since April 2000, losing an FA Cup semi-final to Chelsea and have lost their last six matches at Wembley, a run stretching back to the 1974 FA Cup final.
Spurs have lost two of their last four Premier League games (W1 D1), more than they'd lost in their previous 18 in the competition (W13 D4 L1).
Spurs have won their last seven Premier League games played on a Wednesday, including two this season (2-0 wins at home against Brighton and Man Utd).
If you look at Spurs' fixtures, then if you had to pick two teams to play at home, it would be Newcastle and Leicester. But at the same time, Newcastle do not get the chance to go to Wembley too often, do they? And their fans may make it a bit of a party.
You would have expected Spurs to get something at West Brom on Saturday, though.
I think Spurs will win, Newcastle were poor at Watford on Saturday - better second half, but it is easy to play when you are 2-0 down. They have to be careful, though, as they have good fans and if they turn up in their thousands at Wembley, they will want them to put on a show.
And if they do not, Spurs are the type of team that can embarrass you on their day. The pressure is severely on Tottenham, though, so I think they will win 2-1.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (9/1 with Sky Bet)