Home form vital for Warnock

Neil Warnock has indicated that Harry Arter could make his debut for Cardiff City on Saturday in the Premier League match against Newcastle United.

The 28-year-old is on loan in south Wales from Bournemouth but did not feature in last week's 2-0 loss against his parent club.

However, Warnock is keen to use Arter against the Magpies, who began their Premier League campaign with a 2-1 home defeat to Tottenham.

Warnock is aware that Cardiff are favourites to be relegated this season but believes their home form could be crucial in keeping them out of the bottom three.

"I think it's an exciting time for everybody at the club," he said. "It's going to be a cracking crowd and promises to be a great atmosphere. It's a great feeling.

"Newcastle are a good team to be playing. They've improved their squad from last year when they finished 10th, so they'll be looking to finish in the top half of the table this season.

"It's great how far we've come and I think we're capable against anyone at home. It's 11 against 11 and we're looking forward to it.

"We're just looking to get as many points as we can and the home games are going to be crucial.

"Harry [Arter] is likely to be in the squad. He's such an enthusiastic young man and on the training ground, he's full of beans."

Cardiff, 9/4 to beat Newcastle, are 4/7 to be relegated this season. Meanwhile, Rafa Benitez's team can be backed at 5/2 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table this term.

Premier League: Quick Goals Ended in a Good Tottenham Win

Newcastle United 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur

The Premier League started with a bang after Manchester United pulled off a superb victory against an equally impressive Leicester City squad. Both sides played exciting football, and there was hardly any moment of downtime as fans were treated to consecutive barrages of creative attacks and brave defending from both sides.

The bar was set high for the rest of the games of the League’s Game Day 1, and the Newcastle-Tottenham match did everything it could to add its own share of impressive Premier League 2018 highlights.

The 51,749-strong crowd at St. James’ Park saw quick action within the first 20 minutes of the game. While the rest of the match didn’t see any goals come in from both sides, there isn’t a single soul that will tell you that the game was a bore.

This game was a good showing from Mauricio Pochettino’s lads. They showcased their quality despite their lack of summer signings in the transfer window.

Highlights of the game

Rafael Benitez wanted to start this game right and fielded a 4-4-1-1 formation to deter Tottenham from pounding their defence. Meanwhile, Tottenham used their usual 4-2-3-1 with Lucas Moura manning the right wing instead of Son Heung-min.

The first five minutes saw the two sides feeling out the opposition and trying to find cracks in their respective formations. Matt Ritchie had a chance to put the Magpies ahead in the fourth minute when the rebound ended up with the ball in front of his feet. However, he put excess power in his shot as it bulleted wide of the post.

Tottenham, a club full of World Cup talent, scored the opening goal of the game before the ten-minute mark was even hit. Christian Eriksen, one of the more standout performers during the World Cup, fired a corner to Davinson Sanchez. The young Colombian then headed the ball to Jan Vertonghen, who avoided a flying foot of a Newcastle defender to get the ball past Martin Dubravka.

Tottenham begin their Premier League season with a win

Jan Vertonghen celebrates after scoring his side’s first goal at St James Park

However, it wouldn’t take more than five minutes to put the game back on level terms. Ritchie started out the play from the right and fired a cross to the middle. Joselu cleverly beat the offside trap and headed the former Bournemouth man’s cross into the far side of the goal and away from World Cup winner Hugo Lloris. St. James’ Park roared to life, and the game was afoot once more.

The final goal came in at the 18th minute, and the setup for the goal was too similar to the first two. This time, it was Serge Aurier who supplied the beautiful cross from the right wing. It was sent to the other side of the goal for Dele Alli to simply smash into the net. He made sure that the goal was also fired away from Dubravka.

The rest of the game saw the two teams battle for one more goal without much success. However, both sides gave the crowd some ooh’s and ahh’s with their plays.

Eriksen fired another corner to Sanchez, but his effort for a goal ended with the ball flying past the right post. Mohamed Diame almost equalised in the dying minutes of the first half, unleashing a powerful shot from inside the penalty box. However, the ball hit the left post and ended the game with Tottenham still on top of things.

The second half was a rather quiet affair in comparison to the first, with most of the battles happening before the ball even reaches the final third of the pitch. Jose Rondon could have equalised in the 85th minute and pull off a remarkable comeback, but his mid-range effort was a few inches too high and hit the crossbar.

Tottenham then ensured that the Geordies wouldn’t be able to upset today’s Premier League 2018 predictions by playing smart football. The whistle was eventually blown and Spurs now have their three points to start their Premier League campaign.

Key statistics

There was quite a disparity between Tottenham and Newcastle when it comes to possession, with the visitors taking 60% of their time with the ball. However, Newcastle were a lot more productive with it.

They had just as many shots at the goal as Tottenham and could have equalised if it wasn’t for the heartbreaking block by the woodwork on Diame’s attempt. They also had more completed dribbles and won more aerial battles.

Vertonghen’s effectiveness on defence and his outstanding opening goal make him worthy of Man of the Match honours. He only wasted few passes, had more successful tackles, and didn’t lose control of the ball in the 95 minutes played.

What’s next?

Rafa Benitez believes Newcastle deserved more than they got against Tottenham in the Premier League

Rafa Benitez reacts during Newcastle game vs Tottenham

us football fans will be eager to see how these teams will continue their form after this match.

Tottenham will have an interesting challenge against a new-look Fulham side as they play their final Premier League game at Wembley. The Cottagers are looking especially dangerous after making a myriad of signings in the offseason and will be looking to continue their good form.

Meanwhile, Newcastle have a chance to erase the negatives of this game and focus on getting their three points against Cardiff City. It will be quite a challenge for them to win in Southeast England, given their tendency to struggle in games away from St. James’ Park. However, Benitez needs to motivate his men to fight hard and go for the win here.



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Premier League: Geordie Roar Can Shake Spurs

Newcastle United vs Tottenham Hotspur

The Premier League is back again folks, and what a weekend we have to set the 2018/19 season off with a bang.

The Newcastle-Tottenham match is an opening-day fixture to capture the imagination—two great clubs with a rich heritage and high hopes for the coming season. But both have their challenges, Newcastle a limited budget and Spurs with mounting expectations increasing the pressure year on year.

It’s one of those classic games though, big city sides from either end of the country and everything to play for. And when the fiercely loyal Newcastle fans get their voices tuned, the North London aristocrats will know they’re in a fight.

Talking Points

Rafa Benitez is fast becoming the most popular coach on Tyneside since the great Sir Bobby Robson. The former Liverpool boss could have walked away after the Toon was relegated in 2016, but he didn’t. He steered them back to the top flight and, after taking time to settle in their first season back, helped the Magpies achieve a top ten finish.

Benitez is a Champions League winner, and the Premier League’s knowledgeable fans are well aware that he can set up a team to frustrate and then pounce.

The us odds point to another mid-table finish for the Geordies.

Newcastle defender Jamaal Lascelles is one of Rafa's top guys this Premier League season

Newcastle star Jamaal Lascelles is ready to lead Magpies in new season

There isn’t a lot of money to throw about at Newcastle and Rafa has had to deal shrewdly, but he has a diamond in his pack in the shape of skipper Jamaal Lascelles. The Magpies often looked lost without their classy defender during a five-match absence and his performances led Geordies to shout for an England call-up for their captain. If his form continues, then this could be his year.

Striker Ayoze Perez is Newcastle’s biggest threat, with ten goals last term. However, he needs more support and Rafa will have to shuffle his pack and hope for Dwight Gayle to reach his potential.

The loan signing of Kenedy from Chelsea—up on Tyneside for a second year—is a real boost for Newcastle as well. The young winger’s trickery and skill was the catalyst for a strong finish to the 2017/18 season, and he could turn out to be a world-class player in time with his touch of quality.

The Premier League 2018 odds on Newcastle and Tottenham are unlikely to alter over the final few hours of the transfer window. Nonetheless, prospects for the season could depend on whether either manager, particularly Mauricio Pochettino, can land any late targets.

Spurs fans have become increasingly frustrated by Poch’s difficulty in bringing players in. While all around are strengthening, there is yet to be a big announcement at White Hart Lane.

And what is the chance of a World Cup hangover for Spurs’ young stars? It was a terrific campaign for the Three Lions, but they ultimately fell short at the semi-final stage. Cynics may say one of the reasons they bottled it at the final hurdle was that Gareth Southgate had entrusted the last push to so many Spurs players. (Not me of course!)

But Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier and Kieran Trippier had run themselves into the ground and stayed on an emotional rollercoaster longer than any of us really expected. And then there’s the Belgian contingent of Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele who all made the latter stages too.

And let’s not forget Denmark’s best player Christian Eriksen, who is so important to Spurs’ chances.


2018 World Cup top scorer Harry Kane ready to lead Spurs in new Premier Legue season

Harry Kane celebrates one of his goals during 2018 World Cup in Russia

Home form was vital in the Magpies’ successful return to the Premier League with eight wins, four draws and seven defeats up in the North East last season. And that will be the case again, particularly on those cold winter nights when gloves are the order of the day for visiting southerners.

It’ll be warm enough on Saturday though!

Newcastle come into the first game after an uninspiring pre-season with no wins in four, losing the last two against Augsburg and Sporting Braga—all while conceding five goals without scoring any.

Spurs had a good ICC tournament and arrive with four wins from six, though the Whites were hammered 4-1 in Girona last time out. Surely, they can’t afford a repeat of those defensive lapses if they want positive Premier League 2018 results.

Recent head to head between the two sides tells a story. Tottenham did the double over the Geordies last season, scoring three goals without reply. But Newcastle are ahead in total, with 22 victories to 21 and six draws.

Betting Tip

Newcastle United vs Tottenham Hotspur 1×2 Draw @ 3.10
August 11, 19:30 (GMT+8)

This will be a great contest and there’s no clear winner here.

The home side is available at 3.65 with Spurs the favourites, slightly odds against at 2.11 and the draw 3.10.

It’s going to be a tight game with two excellent defences prominent, and that’s reflected by odds of 1.87 on Under 2.50 goals and 2.03 on Over. A Correct Score Draw 1-1, at 5.80, is the most likely result.

Newcastle could do with getting a start here, as they face Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal over the next four games, and the passionate Geordie fans will roar them on from the off.

?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.




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Rondon relishing Magpies role

Rafael Benitez is pleased that he has finally been able to bring West Brom striker Salomon Rondon to Newcastle United on a season-long loan.

The Venezuela international has been one of Benitez's main targets this summer after the Magpies boss opted to let Aleksandar Mitrovic move to Fulham.

As part of the Rondon deal Dwight Gayle has joined the Baggies on loan for their Championship campaign.

Gayle scored 23 times for Newcastle in their 2016/17 Championship season but only found the net six times in the Premier League last term.

Rondon has scored 19 times in 66 appearances for his country and had spells with Las Palmas, Malaga, Rubin Kazan and Zenit St Petersburg before joining Albion three years ago.

The 28-year-old, who scored 24 Premier League goals in 108 appearances for West Brom, said after moving to St James' Park: "It's an honour to be here and I'm excited to get started with my team-mates.

"The clubs were talking for a long time and now I'm focused on the season to help my team-mates to get the points to do well."

Meanwhile, Benitez 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."

Rondon is 13/8 to be Newcastle's top goalscorer this season while the Magpies are 12/5 to beat Tottenham in their first Premier League match of the campaign on Saturday.

Lack of signings worries Rafa

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez is concerned that he has been unable to sign the players he wanted to bring to St James' Park this summer.

However, the Spaniard insists he remains hopeful that West Brom striker Salomon Rondon will sign for the Magpies even though Dwight Gayle looks set to stay at the club.

Benitez was downbeat after watching his side slump to an embarrassing 4-0 pre-season defeat to Braga on Wednesday and admitted he was "really worried" after seeing things go badly both "on and off the pitch" in recent weeks.

When asked if he still wanted to sign Rondon, the Newcastle boss replied: "Yes. It could be fine if we have an agreement but we have to respect West Brom and what they decide.

"We have been talking for a while about players. I think it's the time to act, more than talk. We have been working for months – sometimes we can sign players, sometimes we cannot. At the moment, I don't know.

"Am I optimistic, thinking that in a few days we can do what we didn't do in two months? I don't think so. But, still, I think it's obvious we need people, we need bodies."

Ricardo Horta, Joao Novais, Fransergio and Dyego Sousa scored for Braga, and Benitez said after the match in Portugal: "We were poor and we made too many mistakes. We have to wake up – that's it.

"You see the teams that have been promoted, the money they are spending. Put it all together and you understand why the fans need to be concerned. We are concerned."

Newcastle, 5/1 to be relegated this season and 7/4 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table, can be backed at 12/5 to beat Tottenham in their opening game of the campaign on 11th August.

Benitez closes in on Muto

Newcastle United are on the verge of signing Mainz's Japan international forward Yoshinori Muto for a reported £9.5million.

The player has undergone a medical and agreed personal terms but the transfer is subject to the striker being issued with a work permit.

Muto played in Japan's defeat to Poland at World Cup 2018 and has represented his country 25 times.

The 26-year-old former FC Tokyo striker scored 20 goals in his three seasons with Mainz.

Since the end of last season Magpies boss Rafael Benitez has made three signings.

Martin Dubravka, who enjoyed a successful loan spell at St James' Park in the second half of last season, has penned a permanent deal with Benitez's side while Ki Sung-yueng has moved to Tyneside from Swansea City and Fabian Schar has arrived from Deportivo La Coruna.

Meanwhile, Mikel Merino, Chancel Mbemba, Matz Sels and Massadio Haidara have all left the club since the end of last term.

In addition Kenedy has agreed an extended loan period with Newcastle while Jack Colback has joined Nottingham Forest on a temporary arrangement.

Newcastle can be backed at 13/5 to win their first game of the season against Tottenham while they are available at 7/4 to finish in the top half of the Premier League in 2018/19.

Benitez brings in Ki

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has made the former Swansea City midfielder Ki Sung-yueng his second capture of the summer.

The 29-year-old has signed an initial two-year deal with the Magpies after spending the last six years with Swansea City, who were relegated from the Premier League last term.

Benitez, who has already signed Martin Dubravka on a permanent basis since the end of last season, said of South Korea international Ki: "I'm pleased to welcome Ki to the club. He is a player with lots of Premier League and international experience and it was an easy decision to bring him here."

Ki began his professional career with FC Seoul and spent two-and-a-half years at Celtic before joining Swansea City in August 2012.

He spent the 2013/14 season on loan at Sunderland and has won 104 caps for his country, scoring 10 goals.

During his time at the Liberty Stadium, Ki scored 12 Premier League goals in 139 appearances for the Swans, 10/3 to be promoted from the Championship in 2018/19.

Meanwhile, Newcastle United are 7/2 to win their first Premier League game of the campaign against Tottenham on 11th August.

SPOTLIGHT: Man City Record, EPL Surprise and a Big NBA Showdown

It’s a remarkable day in the world of sports, with European football and US basketball providing plenty of action, drama and intriguing storylines.

Today, us brings you the top three hottest news that you need to know:

Manchester City set three new Premier League records

The Sky Blues are making a case for the greatest Premier League side ever.

After winning the English top-flight title, Manchester City continued their journey to the history books as they shattered three Premier League records in their 3-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

Manchester City continue to show who's the boss by breaking Premier League records this season

Manchester City shatter three Premier League records in their recent win over Brighton & Hove Albion

Pep Guardiola’s side set a new league milestone for the most wins (31), most points (97) and most goals scored (105) in a single season. All three of which were previously held by Chelsea.

Chelsea, in the 2016-17 season, reached the 30-win landmark. Meanwhile, the 2009-10 team of the club scored 103 goals as they won the title under Carlo Ancelotti. Five years before that, the Blues—then managed by Jose Mourinho—made history after getting 95 points.

Interestingly, Manchester City have one game left to extend the record and reach the 100-point mark, something never-before-seen in the Premier League. Another victory will also see them surpass the all-time top-flight record for wins set by Tottenham Hotspur in 1960-61 in the Football League First Division.

“I feel good,” Guardiola said after the record-breaking game. “We had to maintain our level to break those records. We had to maintain our intensity. We have 97 points, have scored a lot of goals and won a lot of games, that is a consequence of the season we have done.”

“Now we want 100 points and finish this almost perfect season in the Premier League.”

Huddersfield out of trouble, keep all promoted teams in the top flight

Huddersfield Town might not have won the Premier League title—they are far off actually—but they have something to celebrate after playing out a 1-1 stalemate with Chelsea.

At 36 points before the match, the Terriers needed one point to ensure their safety. Fortunately, the players responded big time as they took the lead five minutes into the restart through Laurent Depoitre.

Chelsea were able to come back, thanks to Marcos Alonso who scored on 62 minutes. However, Huddersfield won’t be denied of even just a draw as they held on to get the precious point they need.

The result meant that all three newly-promoted sides are staying up, with Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion already secured of another top-flight season with at least 40 points each.

Promoted clubs Huddersfield, Brighton and Newcastle have managed to stay in the top flight

2017-18 is only the third Premier League season wherein all three promoted clubs have avoided relegation

This achievement, however, is also quite historic as it marked only the third time in Premier League history that none of the promoted teams is relegated back to the Championship. Fulham, Bolton and Blackburn achieved the feat in the 2001-02 campaign, while QPR, Norwich and Swansea replicated it in 2011-2012.

Meanwhile, Huddersfield boss David Wagner hailed his team for escaping relegation despite pre-season predictions that suggested they were bound for a quick trip back to the second-tier league.

“We didn’t have to rely on other teams, we’ve done it on our own,” Wagner said. “Nobody expected it apart from us.”

“This is an unbelievable achievement, we have a further season in the Premier League. Everyone knows the circumstances that our club compete with these top clubs.”

Boston, Cleveland set to renew Eastern Conference rivalry

It’s a Boston-Cleveland East finale all over again.

Cleveland Cavaliers to face Boston Celtics in the much-awaited Eastern Conference Finals

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics will once again play each other in the Eastern Conference Finals

The Boston Celtics secured another Eastern Conference Finals date with the Cleveland Cavaliers after winning the semi-finals series against the Philadelphia 76ers, 4-1.

Boston fought out a thrilling Game 5 with Philly, but in the end, it was their experience that prevailed as they fended off the Sixers 114-112.

Cleveland, meanwhile, swept the Toronto Raptors on the other end of the bracket to grab their fourth straight East Finals berth. LeBron James, who made it to the conference finals for the eighth straight year, led the charge for the Cavs in the surprising sweep.

The meeting between Boston and Cleveland is a repeat of last year’s East Final. The Cavs won that series in five games to move on to the NBA Finals.

However, so much has changed for both teams since they last met in the playoffs. Kyrie Irving—who averaged 25.8 points on 60 percent shooting against Boston last year—was dealt away to the Celts this past summer, though he’s currently out for the playoffs following knee surgery.

Meanwhile, the Cavs are way different as well, thanks to a trade-deadline overhaul that saw them trade six players and their first round pick for Rodney Hood, George Hill, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr. and a second rounder.

It remains to be seen how their series will pan out, but it’s brewing to be an interesting match-up between two widely different teams. Boston are relying on a balanced offence without a true superstar, while the Cavs have been too much dependent on LeBron this year.

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Away form baffles Arsene

Arsene Wenger admitted that Arsenal's disappointing performance in the 2-1 defeat at Newcastle United had been a microcosm of their season.

The Gunners slumped to their fifth away loss in a row despite taking an early lead through Alexandre Lacazette.

Wenger's team have only won three of their 16 away matches though as Ayoze Perez and Matt Ritchie scored to hand 10th-placed Newcastle their fourth Premier League victory in a row.

Wenger labelled the defeat "the story of the season", before adding: "We paid a bit for the fact we played on Thursday night [against CSKA Moscow in the Europa League].

"In the second half we couldn't raise the tempo and keep it up like we did in the first half.

"We only have ourselves to blame for not putting the game to bed by half-time. That has happened many times this season. That's all we can say. It's baffling how we lost this game. From no chances basically we lose 2-1. On the other hand the result is there."

The result means that Arsenal are struggling to hold off Burnley's challenge to finish sixth in the Premier League, but they at least have a two-legged Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid to look forward to.

Arsenal are 11/1 to triumph in the first leg on 26th April 2-0 and 3/1 to win the Europa League outright.

Rafa cools Lascelles exit talk

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has played down reports suggesting Jamaal Lascelles will be leaving Tyneside at the end of this season.

The 24-year-old club captain has enjoyed another fine campaign with the Magpies and is believed to be interesting a host of clubs.

Since moving to St James' Park from Nottingham Forest almost four years ago Lascelles has featured in 88 league games for the club and played a key role in last season's promotion from the Championship.

"He's happy and training well. He's improving, he's focused," Benitez insisted. "You can't stop speculation about players, but I was talking with him for a while last week and the focus is just trying to improve his game.

"I think at the moment he knows he has to continue progressing and learning, but he is quite happy here."

Newcastle have moved into the top half of the Premier League table after winning their last three matches – against Southampton, Huddersfield Town and Leicester City.

The Magpies are 23/10 to make it four victories in a row by beating Arsenal on Sunday.

The Gunners have been poor on their travels this season and may be more focused on their Europa League semi-finals clashes against Atletico Madrid.

Arsenal can be backed at 3/1 to win the Europa League this season, while Newcastle are 1/1 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table.