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Premier League

  • December 28, 2010
  • • 15:00
  • • White Hart Lane, London
  • Referee: A. Taylor
  • • Attendance: 35927
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Premier League Preview: Tottenham - Newcastle United

Premier League Preview: Tottenham - Newcastle United

TEAM NEWS

Tottenham


Jermain Defoe is suspended after picking up a straight red card against Aston Villa on Boxing Day, ruling him out of the festive period's fixtures.

Rafael van der Vaart returned to the side to score twice at Villa Park and may not be risked as Harry Redknapp eases him back to full fitness.

William Gallas is still a week away from a return, while Tom Huddlestone is also ruled out.

Possible starting XI: Gomes; Hutton, Dawson, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Palacios, Modric, Bale; Crouch, Pavlyuchenko.

Newcastle


Kevin Nolan's yellow card at St James' Park on Sunday was his fifth of the season and he will miss the trip to White Hart Lane with the ban.

Otherwise, Alan Pardew may name an unchanged side to the one that lost 3-1 to Manchester City.

Possible Starting XI: Krul; Simpson, Coloccini, Taylor, Jose Enrique; Routledge, Guthrie, Tiote, Barton, Gutierrez; Carroll.


Tottenham target top four

So far so good for Harry Redknapp and Tottenham during the festive period after their battling 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Boxing Day placed them fifth in the table, just seven points adrift of leaders Manchester United.

Redknapp pointed out that Spurs are 33-1 to win the title after the victory at Villa Park, and while they still seem to be some way off mounting a serious challenge for the Premier League crown, another three points against Newcastle at White Hart Lane will certainly stand them in a strong position at the half way point of the season.

Bouncing back

Newcastle, meanwhile, did not fare so well on Sunday, as Alan Pardew lost his first game at the club - his second in charge - in the 3-1 home defeat to Manchester City.

The Magpies' last visit to White Hart Lane saw them lose 1-0 to a solitary Darren Bent goal on their way to relegation to the Championship, but the Tyneside club have enjoyed some success on their travels to N17, winning the two previous meetings at the ground, scoring seven goals in the process.

Newcastle's last victory in north London back in March 2008 saw them run out 4-1 winners, with Nicky Butt, Geremi, Michael Owen and Obafemi Martins getting on the scoresheet, and while the personnel has dramatically changed, Pardew will have his fingers crossed for a similar result.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1GomesGoalkeeper
6Alan HuttonDefender
20Michael DawsonDefender
4Younes KaboulDefender
32Benoit Assou-EkottoDefender
7Aaron LennonMidfielder
8W. PalaciosMidfielder
19Luka ModricMidfielder
11Gareth BaleMidfielder
23Rafael van der VaartMidfielder
9Roman PavlyuchenkoStriker
-Stipe PletikosaGoalkeeper
22Vedran CorlukaDefender
5S. BassongDefender
21Niko KranjcarMidfielder
8Jermaine JenasMidfielder
7Robbie KeaneStriker
25Peter CrouchStriker
1Tim KrulGoalkeeper
25Danny SimpsonDefender
27Steven TaylorDefender
2Fabricio ColocciniDefender
14James PerchMidfielder
15Wayne RoutledgeMidfielder
17Joey BartonMidfielder
17Alan SmithStriker
24Cheikh TioteMidfielder
18Jonas GutierrezMidfielder
9Andy CarrollStriker
22Stephen HarperGoalkeeper
6Mike WilliamsonDefender
-Tamas KadarDefender
9XiscoStriker
-Peter LovenkrandsStriker
20Leon BestStriker
30Nile RangerStriker
Players to Watch
Luka Modric
Luka Modric
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 19
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Spurs' Croatian midfielder Luka Modric has quietly gone about his business this season while the likes of Gareth Bale and Van der Vaart steal the show, but he too has shown his class time and time again this season. Modric's pass to Hutton, who then provided the cross for Van der Vaart's opener at Villa Park, showed just how dangerous he can be from further back on the pitch.
Andy Carroll
Andy Carroll
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Arguably, Andy Carroll is the in-form striker in the Premier League right now, and he scored once again on Boxing Day with another headed goal. Tottenham's central defensive pairing has already changed several times this season, and Carroll could look to capitalise on that with his heading ability and movement.
Prediction
Tottenham's strength in depth will be pushed to the limit by Newcastle, who usually fare well at White Hart Lane, but with Nolan missing from the Magpies' travelling squad, the home side should triumph, though it may not be entirely comfortable.
Editor's Prediction

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