Tony Pulis was left rueing a couple of Lee Probert's refereeing decisions as his side went out of the League Cup against Liverpool last Wednesday, and will be hoping that his side can raise their performance level, having been outplayed by a Suarez-inspired Reds side.
They will be without Danny Higginbotham and Ricardo Fuller as they were in midweek, and Mamady Sidibe was injured in a reserve game.
It won't be an easy fixture, Alan Pardew's Toon side have surprised most with their outstanding start to the season and currently sit in fourth position. The Geordies can also boast the best defence in the League, a unit that will remain unchanged if Steven Taylor plays despite breaking his nose. It's unclear who would take his place if he were to be unfit, given the injury to back-up Mike Williamson.
A kick-off under the Britannia floodlights is a tough prospect for any side though, and Newcastle will have one of the biggest tests of their credentials if they are to achieve a finish in the European qualification places. Shola Ameobi and are Alan Smith both out with hamstring problems.
Harry Redknapp’s defensive options are currently queuing up at the door of the treatment room, meaning that the largely untested center-half duo of Sebastian Bassong and Younes Kaboul will again get the chance to prove their worth. Otherwise, the Spurs boss has more or less the strongest side available to him, with the usual suspects across the middle and Emmanuel Adebayor and Rafa van der Vaart partnering each other up top.
After winning and scoring the penalty which snatched all three points from west London rivals Chelsea last weekend, it’s conceivable that Heidar Helguson will have muscled his way into Neil Warnock’s starting XI plans. That would mean Jay Bothroyd will be consigned to the bench, with other strikers Rob Hulse and DJ Campbell still suffering from injuries. Otherwise, Matthew Connolly and Danny Gabbidon are also both expected to remain on the sidelines, with Warnock likely to select a familiar line up.
submitted on 29 Oct. 2011 22:25 (Sat)
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