Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United - Five key battles

Tottenham host Newcastle United in a potentially tricky Premier League clash this weekend.

Tottenham go into the game with Andre Villas-Boas looking for a big response from his team, following that disappointing 0-0 draw away at Everton last weekend, as the side looked a little flat and void of energy.

In complete contrast, Newcastle will be full of enthusiasm after they turned over Chelsea at home, which has given them a little bit of momentum and the belief they can get a result in this game.

Here are five battles to keep an eye on.

Michael Dawson v Loic Remy

Arguably the biggest threat from the Newcastle United attack is going to come from Frenchman Loic Remy.

Michael Dawson should keep his place in the heart of the Tottenham defence, which means he will find himself occasionally squared up against Remy, who has superior pace. Dawson can’t afford to hold too high a line.

Sandro v Hatem Ben Arfa

Newcastle are unlikely to go with two strikers in attack, which means Ben Arfa could return to the starting side.

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He plays in a variety of attacking positions around the pitch, which makes him a difficult player to keep tabs on. Sandro will have to be at the top of his game to scope the field and track the attacking runs that Ben Arfa makes.

Paulinho v Yohan Cabaye

This will be a battle between two players looking to control the middle of the pitch.

Paulinho has been one of the constants in the middle of Tottenham’s team this season, while Cabaye’s performances since he joined the club have led to apparent interest from several top sides around Europe.

Whoever can get more of a hold over proceedings and dominate will more than likely be on the winning side.

Christian Eriksen v Cheick Tiote

Whether Eriksen starts or whether he comes on as a sub, he’ll be a big threat to the Newcastle defence.

He’s someone who can score a goal or create a chance out of the most obscure situation and the job for Tiote will be to make his presence known, throwing some aggression into the mix.

Roberto Soldado v Mike Williamson

Jermain Defoe will be a little unlucky but Spanish striker Roberto Soldado will more than likely be named in attack.

Mike Williamson is a very big and imposing striker who will look to close in on Soldado quickly, any time he gets on the ball.

If Williamson can retain his discipline throughout the game, he stands a great chance of ensuring that Soldado is contained, thus eliminating one of Tottenham’s main attacking threats.

image: © myeralan

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