Tottenham 5 - 0 NewcastleKO: Sat Feb 11 17:30:00 GMT 2012 Ground: White Hart Lane
Att: 36176 Referee: A Marriner
Tottenham v Newcastle preview
Redknapp takes centre stage in key game
A week which started with Harry Redknapp missing the trip to Anfield will finish with the Tottenham manager being the centre of attention as Newcastle travel to White Hart Lane for a crucial Premier League encounter.
Not able to take his place in the dugout against Liverpool due to a court case that ended on Wednesday with Redknapp being cleared of all tax evasion charges, the 64-year-old is now the hot favourite to become England boss following Fabio Capello's resignation.
It would be a wrench for Redknapp to leave Spurs, having transformed the club's fortunes during his three-and-a-half seasons at the club and he admitted the reception he was given by fans last week against Wigan was an especially moving moment.
The manager is likely to receive a hero's welcome again on Saturday evening but his main focus will be on trying to return to winning ways to keep Tottenham in the title race.
A goalless draw on Merseyside was considered a point gained with so many important figures absent, including Redknapp, and Spurs will now hope to put on more of a show against the Magpies and also avenge a late fightback in a 2-2 draw at St James' Park.
The likes of Younes Kaboul, Aaron Lennon, Rafael van der Vaart and Jermain Defoe all missed the clash with Liverpool as Tottenham's resources were stretched to the limit.
Van der Vaart has failed to recover from a calf problem but Lennon and Defoe (both hamstring) are back in the frame and Redknapp will assess the fitness of Kaboul (knee) ahead of kick-off, although it would be difficult to leave out Michael Dawson following a strong showing in the heart of defence alongside Ledley King.
Sandro (calf) is doubtful, while William Gallas (calf) and Tom Huddlestone (ankle) are longer-term absentees.
Alan Pardew was another man in the frame to replace Capello following his fine work with Newcastle this season, but he quickly ruled himself out of the running.
Pardew's declaration of commitment was a further sign of the stability that he has brought to the Magpies, who have continued to defy the odds to maintain a challenge for European qualification.
A 2-1 victory over Aston Villa last weekend propelled Newcastle to fifth in the standings, just a point adrift of the UEFA Champions League places, and the future looks bright with an in-form Senegalese strike duo.
Papiss Cisse is now likely to start alongside compatriot Demba Ba for the first time after coming off the bench to score a stunning winner against Villa.
Pardew will, however, be without striker Leon Best and utility man Ryan Taylor for the visit to the capital.
Best could miss the rest of the season with the medial ligament injury he suffered against Aston Villa, while the ankle problem Taylor sustained in the same game is less serious, but will keep him out at White Hart Lane.
Yohan Cabaye completes his three-match ban, Cheick Tiote is still on Africa Cup of Nations duty while defender Steven Taylor (Achilles) and midfielders Sylvain Marveaux (groin) and Sammy Ameobi (knee) continue their respective recoveries.
Possible starting XIs
Tottenham: Friedel, Walker, Dawson, King, Assou-Ekotto, Kranjcar, Livermore, Parker, Bale, Modric, Adebayor.
Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon, Obertan, Perch, Guthrie, Gutierrez, Cisse, Ba.
Newcastle Manager Alan Pardew: I Blame Myself
Chelsea's defeat at Everton earlier on Saturday had given the Magpies the opportunity to move into the UEFA Champions League spots with victory at White Hart Lane.
However, Newcastle never recovered from conceding twice inside the opening six minutes as Emmanuel Adebayor inspired the Premier League title hopefuls.
Pardew believes Spurs have a chance of challenging Manchester duo City and United for the top-flight crown after holding his hands up for Newcastle's humbling in the capital.
"They're a very, very good side," Pardew told ESPN. "They've played as well against us as anyone and I'm sure with the firepower they've got, they've got a great chance of the title.
"They were very good and we had a problem today. We've got three of our first-choice midfield out and that was just too much.
"But a lot of the blame lays with me, we probably had too many offensive players on the pitch.
"The mood Tottenham came out in, we just got exposed time and again. I blame myself for that defeat.
"But we'll bounce back, you're going to get well beaten somewhere along the line and we got it today, but we've reacted well all year and we'll do the same.
"We're in a great position in the league, it hasn't done our goal difference any good today, but we're one point behind Arsenal and Chelsea and we hope to build on that."
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