Tottenham’s odds of 1/2 to win at home to Newcastle in the Premier League odds would look appealing to many punters against a visiting team arriving at full strength.
But with absences particularly prominent in the midfield of Alan Pardew’s men, the 11/10 on offer in the Premier League odds that Spurs still win when giving up a one-goal handicap looks particularly enticing.
Newcastle’s latest 2-1 win against Aston Villa came at a price, with Ryan Taylor being carried off injured.
Although promisingly, the initial fears that he suffered a broken leg have been proved wrong, he will still miss the trip to White Hart Lane.
Taylor’s injury is ill-timed in the extreme as the Toon were already looking desperately short of resources in midfield, as Cheick Tiote remains with the Ivory Coast at the African Nations Cup and Yohan Cabaye will serve the last of his three match ban for violent conduct.
It means that Danny Guthrie and James Perch will again feature in central midfield and while both proved able deputies against Villa, Scott Parker and Luka Modric will prove a far sterner test of their credentials than Stiliyan Petrov and Ciaran Clark.
However, it is replacing Taylor that could have the biggest influence on the result, as the more attack-minded Gabriel Obertan is unlikely to enjoy the responsibility of shackling Gareth Bale.
Furthermore, Pardew was able to send out a more settled midfield against Tottenham earlier in the season at St James’ Park and needed a late Shola Ameobi equaliser to secure a 2-2 home draw.
Newcastle are no strangers to heavy away defeats, having recently shipped five at Fulham, after going down 4-2 at Norwich earlier in the campaign.
Their last visit to White Hart Lane ended in a 2-0 defeat, with both wingers Bale and the currently sidelined Aaron Lennon on the scoresheet.