Spurs v Newcastle preview
Newcastle face a difficult task at White Hart Lane as they go in search of their first win under Alan Shearer, in a match which can be seen live on Sky Sports 1 and HD1. Tottenham have been in good form of late and have been particularly impressive at home, where they have only lost once since Harry Redknapp took charge in October. Spurs bounced back from the disappointment of a 2-1 defeat at Blackburn to beat West Ham 1-0 last weekend and consolidate their position in the top half of the table. Seventh place is almost certain to be good enough to secure European qualification and Tottenham will be looking to cut their three-point gap on the Hammers. Redknapp is boosted by the return of Wilson Palacios, who was suspended last time out following his controversial red card at Ewood Park. The Honduras international is likely to replace Tom Huddlestone in midfield despite his bright performance against West Ham, with Jermaine Jenas keeping his place. Jermaine Defoe, sidelined since the end of January after sustaining a stress fracture to his right foot, has resumed full training and comes back into contention. Roman Pavlyuchenko may get the nod to start up front alongside Robbie Keane after stepping off the substitutes' bench to score the winning goal against the Hammers. EncouragedNewcastle remain four points from safety following a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Stoke at the Britannia Stadium last Saturday. Shearer was encouraged by the performance and expressed confidence that his side would avoid relegation if they can reproduce the same intensity in each of their remaining matches. The Magpies will be targeting nine points from their three home games, against Portsmouth, Middlesbrough and Fulham, but will realise the importance of picking up something from their trip to London. A late decision will be made on the fitness of Obafemi Martins, who pulled out of the clash with Stoke just hours before kick-off after waking up with groin trouble. Fellow striker Mark Viduka is back in full training after a long-standing Achilles problem and will travel with the rest of the squad. Andy Carroll will hope to earn a starting spot after scoring the equaliser against the Potters, while Jonas Gutierrez could also be recalled on the strength of a lively display from the bench. Steven Taylor should be available again following an ankle problem and Peter Lovenkrands has also recovered from the nasty knock he took at Chelsea, but Jose Enrique (knee) is doubtful. Possible starting XIsTottenham: Gomes, Corluka, King, Woodgate, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Jenas, Palacios, Modric, Keane, Pavlyuchenko. Newcastle: Harper, Beye, Edgar, Bassong, S Taylor, R Taylor, Nolan, Butt, Gutierrez, Owen, Carroll.
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