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Premier League

  • 22 January 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • St. James' Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • Referee: M. Halsey
  • • Attendance: 51010
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Newcastle United - Tottenham Preview: Spurs target Andy Carroll ruled out of St James' Park clash

Newcastle United - Tottenham Preview: Spurs target Andy Carroll ruled out of St James' Park clash

TEAM NEWS

Newcastle United

The Magpies are without star striker Andy Carroll as the England frontman has failed to recover from a thigh injury and looks set to be out for a further three weeks.

Alan Smith is also out after Newcastle learned on Thursday that the midfielder will be sidelined for the rest of the season with an ankle injury sustained in Sunday's North-East derby with Sunderland.

Smith's place will be taken by either Danny Guthrie, who replaced him at the Stadium of Light, or Danny Gosling, who came on for the closing stages to make his debut for Alan Pardew's side.

That's likely to be the only change from the side that drew 1-1 with Sunderland last week, as Cheick Tiote is still suspended, and Newcastle's other absentees are long term casualties, with Hatem Ben Arfa and Ryan Taylor still a few weeks away from full fitness.

Possible starting XI: Harper; Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Enrique; Barton, Guthrie, Nolan, Gutierrez; Best, Ameobi.

Tottenham

Harry Redknapp has no new injury worries and looks likely to name the same team that drew 0-0 with Manchester United at White Hart Lane last week.

New signing Steven Pienaar looks set to start from the bench on Saturday, after completing his move from Everton earlier this week.

Redknapp has a number of attacking players, and it will be a choice between Roman Pavlyuchenko, Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch to start at centre-forward, with Rafael van der Vaart sitting in behind the lone striker.

Tom Huddlestone remains on the sidelines, but should return within the next few weeks. Long term absentees include Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate, and Jamie O'Hara.

Possible starting XI: Gomes; Hutton, Gallas, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Palacios, Modric, Bale; Van der Vaart; Crouch.

Bogey team

Newcastle have been a thorn in the side of Tottenham at St James' Park in recent years, with the Londoners' last win coming courtesy of a Timothee Atouba strike in a 1-0 win back in August 2004.

Since then Newcastle have won the last four Premier League meetings, the most recent being in their relegation season of 2008-09, when strikes from Charles N'Zogbia and Damien Duff were enough to beat Spurs 2-1.

Title credentials


Saturday will be a big test for Harry Redknapp's side as they look to find the form that has seen them credited as true title challengers, but they will need to take three points back to London if they want their title dreams to stay a possible reality.

After losing at Everton and drawing at home to Manchester United, inconsistent Newcastle provide a real tough test for the men from White Hart Lane. A win will take them back into the top four, and put them back in sight of leaders Manchester United.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
22Stephen HarperGoalkeeper
25Danny SimpsonDefender
2Fabricio ColocciniDefender
6Mike WilliamsonDefender
3José EnriqueDefender
17Joey BartonMidfielder
35Danny GuthrieMidfielder
4Kevin NolanMidfielder
18Jonas GutierrezMidfielder
20Leon BestStriker
23Shola AmeobiStriker
1Tim KrulGoalkeeper
14James PerchMidfielder
23Sol CampbellDefender
31Shane FergusonDefender
9XiscoStriker
30Nile RangerStriker
-Peter LovenkrandsStriker
23Carlo CudiciniGoalkeeper
6Alan HuttonDefender
5Michael DawsonDefender
13William GallasDefender
11Gareth BaleMidfielder
7Aaron LennonMidfielder
8Jermaine JenasMidfielder
19Luka ModricMidfielder
22Steven PienaarMidfielder
23Rafael van der VaartMidfielder
18Jermain DefoeStriker
-Stipe PletikosaGoalkeeper
5S. BassongDefender
4Younes KaboulDefender
22Vedran CorlukaDefender
21Niko KranjcarMidfielder
15SandroMidfielder
25Peter CrouchStriker
Prediction
Cheick Tiote and Andy Carroll have been two of Newcastle's best players this season, and despite outplaying Sunderland last week, I think Spurs will have too much attacking quality for Alan Pardew's side.

The centre of midfield will be key, and the match up of Luka Modric and Danny Guthrie will be vital if Newcastle are to get anything from this game. With the Croatian producing a man of the match display against Manchester United, he will hope to continue his good form by taking control of the middle of the park.

I fancy Newcastle to get on the scoresheet as they are so dangerous from set pieces, but the class of Bale, Modric and Van der Vaart, will edge the game in Spurs' favour.
Editor's Prediction

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