Spurs look to strengthen their top four challenge and extend Newcastle's misery at St James' Park on Sunday afternoon

Newcastle return to Premier League action after the international break on Sunday, as they welcome Tottenham Hotspur to St James’ Park.

The break has probably been a welcome one for Steve Bruce, as it means speculation about his future has taken a back seat slightly. The 3-0 defeat to Brighton last time out seemed like a point of no return for the 60-year-old, but the former Hull City manager is somehow clinging onto his job, despite a run of two wins in 20 games.

Fans are quite rightly worried about their side, as they sit just two points above Fulham in the relegation battle, and have a tough run of fixtures coming up, with no sign of Mike Ashley being bothered enough to do anything about it.

That means it’s down to Bruce and his coaching staff, with rumours of dressing room mutiny, training ground bust-ups and lack of cohesion at the club threatening to send them to the Championship for a third time under Ashley’s reign.

One of the main hopes Bruce has if the Magpies are to survive this season is the return of two of his star players. Both Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson are back in training ahead of Spurs, with the Frenchman hoping to play some part. Wilson’s fitness is undetermined, but Newcastle are hoping he can return soon.

There’s a problem in midfield as well, with Isaac Hayden, a rare positive in an otherwise shocking season, set to miss the rest of the season with injury. Sean or Matty Longstaff could replace the former Arsenal man, after months watching on from the bench.

As for Spurs, Erik Lamela will return from suspension after seeing red in the North London derby, but Son Heung-Min could play some part. The South Korean lasted under 20 minutes of the Arsenal game before coming off with a hamstring injury, but the international break came at the right time for his recovery.

Jose Mourinho could also have issues at full-back, with Matt Doherty, Ben Davies and Sergio Reguilon all facing late fitness tests with various problems. Japhet Tanganga and Serge Aurier are ready to deputise.
A win for Spurs will take them above West Ham into fifth until Monday at least, and keep them firmly in the race for the Champions League, while compounding yet more misery on Newcastle.

Newcastle United take on Tottenham Hotspur at St James’ Park on Sunday, April 4th. Kick-off is at 2.05pm.

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Marley Anderson

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