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Posted: 27 Dec 2010 09:04 PM PST

Spurs centreback Bassong aims to stop former teammate Carroll

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 13:02:00


GOOD TO GO: Bassong all ready to take on familiar foes in former team Newcastle

LONDON: Tottenham centreback Sebastien Bassong knows just what to expect from Andy Carroll as he prepares to take on his former Newcastle teammate at White Hart Lane today (11pm).

Bassong will face his old club for the first time since arriving at Spurs from St James' Park in August last year.

And Bassong has acknowledged striking ace Carroll, who was just breaking into the Magpies side when he departed, as a substantial threat.

Carroll has already scored 11 goals thus far in the league.

"Newcastle have a lot of strength and they are good on set-pieces with players like Carroll," Bassong told Spurs' website.

"He's so strong, especially in the air and a real handful.

"He's improved a lot. He needed someone to look after him and to make him improve. Former manager Chris Hughton did that. Now he's flying. He's a dangerous player, he holds the ball up well, his link play is good and as I said, he's so powerful in the air.

"We know all about him and we have to be strong with him," said Bassong, who is hoping to start today.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp started off with Michael Dawson and Younes Kaboul at the heart of defence in the 2-1 away win over Aston Villa last Sunday.

Meanwhile, Jermain Defoe will miss Spurs' next three Premier League matches after Redknapp decided not to appeal against the striker's red card against Villa.

Referee Martin Atkinson gave Defoe his marching orders after he elbowed Villa defender James Collins in the face.

Defoe's punishment comes at a critical time for Spurs who face three difficult games over the New Year and early 2011.

He will sit out the home game against Newcastle, the New Year's Day match against Fulham and a tough away trip to Everton.

Defoe only just returned to the Spurs fold after picking up an ankle injury on England duty, and he has yet to find the net in the league this season.

However, Redknapp has depth in his strikeforce and can still trouble the Magpies.

There are still Roman Pavlyuchenko, Peter Crouch and Robbie Keane around.

Spurs also have quality attacking midfielders in Rafael van der Vaart, Luka Modric, Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon to rely on.

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Midfielder Osman believes Everton can still qualify for Europe

Posted: 27 Dec 2010 09:02 PM PST

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 12:59:00

LIVERPOOL: Everton midfielder Leon Osman (pic) is convinced they can still qualify for Europe this season despite sitting off the pace at present.

The Toffees have made a habit of stumbling out of the blocks in recent years and have endured similar troubles this season.

That has left them eight points adrift of the top six as the halfway point of the season approaches — with just four wins taken from 18 matches.

This season has been one of twists and turns, though, so anything remains possible from here on in.

Osman, with that in mind, believes they are still capable of stringing a productive run of results together and climbing up the standings.

"We have to remember it has been a strange season and while we have not picked up the results we have wanted regularly enough, we are still not that far off the European places points wise," he told Liverpool Echo.

"It is still all there to play for and hopefully we can put a real run together in the second half of the season.

"We need to start converting chances — that is the first thing. And once we do that, I think we will put a run together and end up nearer the top of the league. I am confident on that."

Osman hopes he will be given every opportunity to play his part over the coming weeks, having returned to the side against Manchester City last time out after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

"Doing the rehab and the hard work to get back fit isn't the problem," he said.

"What is frustrating is the fact that you are injured and the rest of the players are out there playing in the games that you can't play in. Watching the matches is what makes it hard.

"That's especially the case when the results aren't what everybody wants them to be and you want to get back out there and help the team. It can be so frustrating."

Meanwhile, Everton manager David Moyes wants a new striker next month but he has absolutely no money available so will have to delve into the loan market.

Everton have been linked with a host of players in recent weeks but Moyes revealed he will be given no money to spend.

"We don't have any cash to lay down plans," said the Scot.

"I'd like to bring players in on loan. I'd like a central striker if possible.

"But anybody who sees any speculation linking me with anybody who is going to cost money might as well throw that aside. It can't be true, we don't have any cash.

"We are out there trying to bring in some loans if we possibly can and that is the situation."

Before Moyes can turn his attention to the transfer window, his side must first play West Ham tomorrow (1.30am).

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