Newcastle United Vs Tottenham Hotspur, Sat 22 Jan 2011

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Newcastle: Harper, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Barton, Guthrie, Nolan, Gutierrez, Best, Ameobi.

Subs: Krul, Campbell, Lovenkrands, Perch, Xisco, Ranger, Ferguson.

Tottenham: Cudicini, Hutton, Dawson, Gallas, Bale, Lennon, Modric, Jenas, Pienaar, Van der Vaart, Defoe.

Subs: Pletikosa, Kaboul, Crouch, Bassong, Kranjcar, Corluka, Sandro.

Alan Pardew has challenged strikers Shola Ameobi and Leon Best to prove Newcastle can cope without star man Andy Carroll.

The 22-year-old England international has missed the last four games with a thigh injury, and is also expected to sit out the next three weeks with the damage showing few signs of healing quickly.

Carroll's 11 goals to date this season have made him one of the club's stand-out players in the bid to retain their Barclays Premier League status, and his loss might have proved hugely significant.

However, Ameobi's strike at Wigan and Best's hat-trick against West Ham three days later each secured three precious points in his absence, and it was Ameobi who created the goal which took the Magpies to within seconds of derby victory at Sunderland last weekend.


With Peter Lovenkrands and Nile Ranger providing support, Pardew is hopeful that he has enough firepower to cope.

Speaking ahead of the tough home Barclays Premier League clash with fifth-placed Tottenham, the manager said: "Especially with Leon, he has produced in the two Premier League games.

"The challenge is in front of him to produce that level.

"Shola, as we know, can play for this club. He has shown that over many years.

"They have the shirts at the moment and if they produce the same work-rate they did at Sunderland, they have every chance of keeping them."

Carroll will not be the only absentee as Newcastle attempt to halt a free-rolling Spurs bandwagon which has seen the Londoners put together a run of 14 games in all competitions with just one defeat since they lost 4-2 at Bolton on November 6.

Key midfielder Cheik Tiote serves the second leg of a three-match ban, while Alan Smith is likely to miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury and Steven Taylor and Dan Gosling have joined Hatem Ben Arfa and Ryan Taylor on the casualty list.

In the circumstances, Pardew is desperate to persuade owner Mike Ashley to loosen the purse strings and allow him to bring in reinforcements - short-term moves for Stephen Ireland and Shaun Wright-Phillips have been mooted after the club's interest in the likes of Sebastian Larsson and Jay Bothroyd came to nothing.

But in the meantime, the Magpies will attempt to gain revenge for their 2-0 defeat at White Hart Lane on December 28 with what they already have.

Pardew's spending power, or lack of it, is in stark contrast to that afforded to opposite number Harry Redknapp to enable him to rebuild his squad since he launched what was initially a rescue mission in October 2008.

He said: "They are title challengers, you can't get away from that.

"They have some outstanding players, as they proved against Manchester United last week.

"Harry's been fortunate that he's had good finance to strengthen the team, and he very rarely makes mistakes in the transfer market, and that's why they've got so many options.

"It's frightening."

Redknapp has slammed Birmingham over their conduct during Robbie Keane's failed transfer to St Andrew's.

Spurs accepted Blues' #6million bid for Keane last week before the Midlands outfit pulled the plug on the deal, claiming in a statement from acting chairman Peter Pannu that the striker's wage demands were out of their reach.

Keane, 30, denied those claims earlier this week, suggesting that Birmingham had made such an assertion as part of a publicity stunt.

And Redknapp backed Keane's stance insisting that it was "unfair" of Birmingham to make such a claim about the want-away striker.

"There was never a deal with Birmingham," said Redknapp, who is willing to let the striker leave White Hart Lane this month.

"He never asked Birmingham for money.

"He never got around to discussing a deal with them so when they said they couldn't meet his wage demands that was totally unfair on Robbie because he never made any demands. He never even spoke to them.

"I don't see how the deal could've fallen down on wage demands when he didn't make any. That's a strange one."

Redknapp completed a major transfer coup on Tuesday when Steven Pienaar opted to join Spurs over Barclays Premier League champions Chelsea.

Pienaar will travel to Newcastle with his new team-mates and could make his debut at St. James' Park.

But with the likes of Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon, Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart already cemented in their positions in the team, Redknapp admits Pienaar has a fight on his hands to earn a first-team spot.

"I couldn't sit here and say he will take someone's place. There is competition for all places," Redknapp said.

"He can play in several positions across midfield. He keeps the ball and he'll enjoy playing in our team."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Tottenham Hotspur
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