Tottenham could temporarily move into third place above Chelsea if they dispatch Newcastle in the early Saturday kick-off at White Hart Lane. Andre Villas-Boas’ men are unbeaten in the league since a late defeat at Everton in early December and considering the form of Gareth Bale at the moment in particular, will no doubts be confident of securing three points.
Newcastle, inspired by the recent spate of purchases of France, have won two on the bounce, including a late 3-2 victory over Chelsea last week thanks to a virtuoso two-goal performance from Moussa Sissoko. Those successes have lifted Alan Pardew’s men away from their relegation rivals, now a full six points ahead of 18th-placed Wigan.
Spurs will be missing striker Jermain Defoe for the next two to three weeks with an ankle injury while Emmanuel Adebayor may not be risked after his exertions for Togo in the Africa Cup of Nations, leaving either Clint Dempsey or Gareth Bale to play as the lone front-man. Younes Kaboul (knee) remains a few weeks away from fitness while Sandro (also knee) is out for the season.
Newcastle welcome back Cheick Tiote, who has also returned from the Africa Cup of Nations and he could form part of an attractive three-man midfield alongside Sissoko and Yohan Cabaye. Hatem Ben Arfa remains out with a hamstring injury, while Danny Simpson is also sidelined with a broken toe.