IT IS the Titans clash at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday
In the Spurs corner, goalscorer extraordinaire Harry Kane – who has struck 12 times for club and country this year alone.
And against him representing Newcastle erm. . . Dan Burn, the 29-year-old former Wigan and Brighton centre-back!
It sounds like a mismatch on paper, but according to Jonathan Woodgate – who played for both clubs – it’s a dispute between two of the Premier League’s most in-form players.
Woodgate, 42, in the last Spurs side to win a major honor in 2008, said: ‘Everyone knows how good Kane is now.
He’s the best in the business. But Burn has been such a revelation since joining Toon.
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Before his arrival Newcastle probably had the worst defense in the Premier League and since his arrival they are not far from having the best.
“They haven’t conceded more than one goal in any of the seven games he’s shown.
“Obviously Newcastle’s improvement isn’t solely his fault – but he’s played a huge part in it. And since they left Brighton their form has dropped a lot too.
“Put those two facts together and it’s certainly no coincidence.”
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The Toon Army has already referred to 6ft 6in Burn as “the Great Wall of Newcastle”.
He has been considered by many to be the club’s best centre-back since Woodgate himself joined Sir Bobby Robson’s side from Leeds in 2003.
It’s fair to say, however, that Burns’ £13million arrival from the Seagulls in January drew little fanfare compared to fellow recruits Kieran Trippier and Bruno Guimaraes.
Woodgate added: “I don’t think fans knew all that much about him other than the fact that he was huge.
“And to be perfectly honest, there was probably a bit of disappointment when Newcastle failed to deliver on their key defensive goals.
“But now he has won them with his performances for the club.
“It helps that he’s a Geordie, of course – but Dan is a real leader. He may be new, but from the start he organized, gave orders and encouraged his teammates.”
Dan has a lot to do but you can never give up on England and when he plays the way he is there is an outside chance.
Newcastle fans are never slow to bring their England nominees forward from St James’ Park and many felt Burn was unlucky to miss Gareth Southgate’s latest squad.
However, Woodgate feels he has a difficult task ahead of the Qatar World Cup to carve his way.
Former Middlesbrough boss Woody, who is aiming for a return to management after his successful stint as caretaker at Bournemouth, warned: “He’s 29 now and there are quite a few ahead of him in the queue.
“Harry Maguire and John Stones have never failed their country, Conor Coady, Tyrone Mings and Ben White have all done well.
And then youngsters like Marc Guehi and Fikayo Tomori, who was a revelation at AC Milan, also come through.
“So Dan cut his job but you can never give up on England and if he continues to play as well as he is there’s always that outside chance.
“I’m sure Gareth Southgate will be watching him until the World Cup.”
Burn and Co face a big test tomorrow against a fifth-placed Spurs side desperate to catch fourth-placed Arsenal. The Gunners are three points clear with a game in hand.
But Woodgate added: “If Dan can keep an in-form Kane quiet this weekend it will certainly send positive signals to Gareth.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/5033415/harry-kane-jonathan-woodgate-leeds-tottenham/ Harry Kane vs Dan Burn is a meeting of Prem’s two in-form players, says Jonathan Woodgate as Tottenham host Newcastle