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Tottenham v Newcastle

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Sissoko: Instant impact

Sissoko: Instant impact

Resurgent Newcastle United travel to White Hart Lane to face Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday looking to build on their recent return to form.

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The Magpies looked as though they may be dragged into relegation scrap at the end of the year but a raid on the January transfer window by manager Alan Pardew has provided them with a timely boost.

Not least of which being Moussa Sissoko, who was instrumental in the wins over Aston Villa and Chelsea, having scored a brace in the 3-2 win over the Blues last weekend.

The Toon currently sit in 15th place on 27 points and there is no doubt Pardew will take his new-look side to north London expecting a win after their impressive performance against Chelsea.

Pardew will feel he as added enough depth to his side in January to deal with the numerous first team injuries but the 51-year-old continues to miss Hatem Ben-Arfa's creativity in midfield.

Additionally, Ryan Tylor, Haris Vučkič (both ACL), Dan Gosling (knee) and Danny Simpson (broken toe) are also still out injured.

Papiss Cisse is expected to start by himself up front with the midfield trio that were so effective against Chelsea, Jonas Gutierrez, Yoan Gouffran and Sissoko, behind him.

Meanwhile, Spurs currently occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot on 45 points and could leapfrog Chelsea into third if the Blues fail to beat Wigan.

Andre Villas-Boas' side are unbeaten in nine matches in the Premier League and the Portuguese can welcome back Emaunuel Adebayor back to the team after returning from the Africa Cup of Nations.

Adebayor's return is a timely one after it was revealed that Jermaine Defoe will be out for three weeks after picking up an ankle injury in the 1-0 win over West Brom at the weekend.

Sandro remains on the sidelines with a long-term knee injury while Younes Kaboul is expected to start training within the next week.

Andre Villas-Boas has admitted he has thought of playing the prolific Gareth Bale up front, but is likely to stick with Clint Demsey as the lone striker with the Welshman providing support down the wing.

Posted: 08/02/13 14:03

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