Can Bale and Co. give AVB the perfect start?
Posted on August 15, 2012 by Andrew Younger
The most mouthwatering tie of the opening day of the Premier League pits 4th against 5th from last years league table, as Tottenham travel to Newcastle in Andre Villas Boas’ first game in charge of the club.
The Portuguese’ endured a traumatic spell at Chelsea last season and his start at Spurs has hardly been a stroll in the park. The clubs pre-season tour of the USA was marred by controversial incidents involving star players Luka Modric and Gareth Bale which has no doubt tested the managers metal.
The saga involving wantaway playmaker Modric refuses to go away, with the Croatian doing everything in his power to force a move away from White Hart Lane. But despite Modric potentially joining Steven Pienaar and Niko Krancjar out of the exit door, there is still a wealth of attacking talent at Villas Boas’ disposal.
After signing a new long term deal earlier in the summer, Gareth Bale is one player who AVB can firmly put his faith in, and with those departures around him, Bale will be forced to step up and build on his last few years of promise, starting against Newcastle on Saturday.
As well as a new manager, Spurs fans will also get their first look at their two major signings Jan Vertonghen and Gylfi Sigurdsson. With Vertonghen set to partner fit again Michael Dawson, Tottenham look to have a strong defensive partnership which they will need when they come up against Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse. However, it is at the other end of the pitch where Spurs may struggle. Jermaine Defoe is the only senior striker at the club and will have a lot of pressure on his shoulders to get the goals.
Villas Boas will no doubt look to his attacking midfielders to help chip in with a few goals, which shouldn’t be too much of a problem with both Bale and Rafael Van der Vaart breaking the 10 goal mark last year. However, the news that Scott Parker will miss the start of the season may lead to a re-shuffle in Spurs midfield as they look to replace the tough tackling midfielder.
Newcastle are too suffering with injury trouble with influential players Cabaye, Ben Arfa and Coloccini all a doubt for the big kick off. This will worry Newcastle fans because although it looks likely Vurnon Anita will sign on time to play against Tottenham, the Magpies have failed to bolster their squad sufficiently after losing Danny Guthrie, Peter Lovenkrands and Leon Best in the summer.
Despite their recent injury trouble, Newcastle are favourites to get their season off to a winning start on Oddslife with Alan Pardew’s team at 2.45 to ruin Andre Villas Boas’ first game in charge. Our users are split 50/50 over this game with an equal number of predictions placed on both sides to win.
Who do you think will get their season off to a winning start? Can Bale and Co. get AVB’s regime off to a flyer, or will Ba and Cisse send the Geordie crowd home happy with 3 ponts in the bag? Make your FREE predictions this weekend and win yourself a signed Gareth Bale shirt!