Preview: Newcastle United vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Preview: Newcastle vs. Spurs
© PA Photos
Andre Villas-Boas begins his managerial career with Spurs as they travel to face Newcastle in arguably the pick of the opening weekend's fixtures.

New signings Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jan Vertonghen are available for Andre Villas-Boas's first game in charge of Tottenham Hotspur - a tough Saturday evening trip to Newcastle United.

Spurs narrowly pipped the Magpies to fourth place last campaign, but it has been all change at White Hart Lane this summer, with Villas-Boas replacing Harry Redknapp in the biggest managerial switch of the off-season.

Real Madrid-bound Luka Modric will not feature as he nears a move to the La Liga champions, while influential midfielder Scott Parker is out injured after undergoing Achilles surgery.

Villas-Boas is likely to implement a new 4-2-3-1 system, with Sandro and newly-capped England international Jake Livermore providing protection for a back four which is likely to see Vertonghen partnered by Younes Kaboul in central defence.

With the protracted permanent transfer of Emmanuel Adebayor still ongoing, Jermain Defoe will lead the Spurs attack, hoping to add to his England goal in midweek.

Newcastle were arguably the Premier League overachievers last season, but Alan Pardew will be optimistic that his side can match that finish this year.

New signing Vurnon Anita is available for selection but may start on the bench with Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tiote continuing their much-hailed midfield partnership.

Rumoured Spurs target Demba Ba is expected to start up front alongside Papiss Cisse, who was prolific for United after joining from German outfit Freiburg last January.

Possible lineups:

Newcastle: Krul; Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon; Gutierrez, Cabaye, Tiote, Ben Arfa; Cisse, Ba

Spurs: Friedel, Walker, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto; Livermore, Sandro; Bale, Van der Vaart, Sigurdsson; Defoe

Sports Mole says: 1-1

Jermain Defoe
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