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  • 1 January 2011
  • • 15:00
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Tottenham - Fulham Preview: Kaboul joins Defoe on suspensions list ahead of London derby

Tottenham - Fulham Preview: Kaboul joins Defoe on suspensions list ahead of London derby

TEAM NEWS

Tottenham

Younes Kaboul’s red card against Newcastle United on Tuesday means he joins Jermain Defoe among Tottenham’s suspended players, so Harry Redknapp will either call on Sebastien Bassong or hope William Gallas has overcome an injury in time to play.

Jermaine Jenas may be preferred to Wilson Palacios, while Tom Huddlestone, Jonathan Woodgate and Jamie O’Hara are still short of fitness.

Possible Starting XI: Gomes; Hutton, Dawson, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Jenas, Modric, Bale; Van der Vaart; Crouch.

Fulham

Chris Baird’s double against Stoke could see him retain his place in the side after surprisingly replacing Carlos Salcido on Tuesday.

Bobby Zamora and Moussa Dembele are still out of contention meanwhile, though the Belgian could return against West Brom, meaning Andrew Johnson is likely to continue in attack, with Clint Dempsey playing a supporting role.

Possible Staring XI: Schwarzer; Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Baird; Davies, Murphy, Etuhu, Duff; Dempsey; Andrew Johnson.

Top four test

 

Tottenham are having their top four credentials tested to the limit over a busy festive period, but as the games come thick and fast, Harry Redknapp’s side have thus far passed with flying colours, having won two physical games in three days, against Aston Villa and Newcastle United.

Spurs have hit top form at the right time – it is now 10 games in all competitions since Redknapp’s men tasted defeat – and it is now vital for the club to carry such a run of results into the New Year if they are to maintain their Champions League charge.

Annual festive meeting

 

It just wouldn’t be the winter months without a meeting between Spurs and Fulham – two of their last six meetings have taken place on Boxing Day, while this fixture last season saw Tottenham run out 2-1 winners in January.

Fulham have fared more disappointingly heading towards the New Year, with their 3-1 defeat at home against fellow strugglers West Ham a low point that saw them condemned to the bottom three of the Premier League.

There were signs of a revival for Mark Hughes on Tuesday though, as his side managed a rare win away from home against Stoke City, courtesy of two extremely rare Chris Baird goals.

The chances of Baird repeating such feats against Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Saturday are slim, but Hughes will be hopeful of getting a result, even if his side has seldom managed to win on the short trip to north London.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1GomesGoalkeeper
6Alan HuttonDefender
5Michael DawsonDefender
13William GallasDefender
32Benoit Assou-EkottoDefender
7Aaron LennonMidfielder
8W. PalaciosMidfielder
19Luka ModricMidfielder
11Gareth BaleMidfielder
23Rafael van der VaartMidfielder
9Roman PavlyuchenkoStriker
-Stipe PletikosaGoalkeeper
21Niko KranjcarMidfielder
15SandroMidfielder
5S. BassongDefender
22Vedran CorlukaDefender
8Jermaine JenasMidfielder
25Peter CrouchStriker
23Mark SchwarzerGoalkeeper
4John PaintsilDefender
18Aaron HughesDefender
5Brede HangelandDefender
6Chris BairdDefender
29Simon DaviesMidfielder
20Dickson EtuhuMidfielder
13Danny MurphyMidfielder
16Damien DuffMidfielder
2Clint DempseyStriker
8Andy JohnsonStriker
-David StockdaleGoalkeeper
3C. SalcidoDefender
5Rafik HallicheDefender
8Kagisho DikgacoiMidfielder
27Jonathan GreeningMidfielder
-Diomansy KamaraStriker
11Zoltán GeraMidfielder
Players to Watch
Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 11
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
After a short, relatively quiet spell, Gareth Bale was back in the news again on Tuesday, scoring to ensure Tottenham would beat Newcastle, and notching his 10th for the season in the process – an impressive haul for a converted left-back. John Pantsil will likely be charged with the task of keeping Bale quiet, and he will need all the help he can get from Simon Davies if he is to be successful.
Andy Johnson
Andy Johnson
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 8
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Striker Andrew Johnson has made his return to the Fulham starting line-up following a long injury layoff, and while there is inevitable evidence of ring rust, the onus is on him to hit the ground running again, as Moussa Dembele and Bobby Zamora have proven to be long term casualties themselves. You also get the feeling that, as soon as Johnson scores one goal, he may set off on a hot streak.
Prediction
It’s a London derby, so you never know, but Tottenham should overcome Fulham quite comfortably, given their recent form and the contrasting fortunes of these two sides.
Editor's Prediction
Fulham 0

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