Preview: Tottenham v Newcastle
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino believes his squad are highly competitive ahead of Saturday’s Premier League opener against Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
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Spurs are the only EPL club not to sign a player in the transfer window since the current system started in 2003. Nonetheless, Pochettino is optimistic the Lilywhites can claim a top three spot for the fourth year running.
Speaking to reporters, he said: “Of course, it’s difficult to understand for people that Tottenham didn’t sign or sell players, but sometimes in football, you need to behave differently.
“If we are happy with our squad and cannot improve our squad, sometimes it’s better to keep our squad together.
“We believe a lot in our players and why not repeat a similar season like last year or the season before, and with more experience? We are going to be better, no doubt about that.”
Meanwhile, Benitez was given limited resources to strengthen the Magpies as only major arrivals have been Yoshinori Muto and Salomon Rondon. The Venezuela star was involved in a swap deal with Dwight Gayle going the other way.
Nonetheless, the experienced Spaniard is happy to have landed Rondon from West Bromwich Albion on loan for the qualities he offers in attack.
He said: “I am delighted to sign Salomon. When we were looking for options up front, we knew how important experience would be. Salomon has been in the Premier League for a while and he knows how demanding it is.”
In addition, United should have plenty of motivation to win the clash having lost home and away to Spurs in 2017/18.
In team news, Newcastle defender Florian Lejeune is out with a long-term injury while Muto and Rondon are available.
For the visitors, Juan Foyth, Erik Lamela, Victor Wanyama and Harry Winks are all out with respective injury concerns.