Spurs look to Adebayor as Defoe ruled out

TOTTENHAM manager Andre Villas-Boas insists centre-forward Emmanuel Adebayor will go straight back into the side tomorrow against Newcastle, despite doubts over his fitness.

Jermain Defoe’s ankle injury, suffered in Sunday’s win at West Brom, is set to keep him sidelined for three weeks, leaving Adebayor, who has scored just two Premier League goals this season, the club’s only fit striker.

Adebayor was due back in north London last night or this morning after a three-week absence representing Togo at the Africa Cup of Nations, where they reached the quarter-finals.

Villas-Boas intends to select him but admits he does not know whether Adebayor will be fit enough to start the lunchtime kick-off at White Hart Lane.

“Obviously we have to take a look at him first,” said Villas-Boas. “We don’t have any news regarding injuries, so he’s going to be selected for sure. I have to make a decision whether he will be in the starting XI or not.”

Villas-Boas has been indebted to Gareth Bale for decisive goals in the last two games, and believes the Wales winger will stay at Tottenham if they can clinch Champions League qualification.

“This is where most clubs want to be, and where most want to play,” he said. “It’s part of our objectives so achieving it means we can attract better players and hold on to our best players.”

Tottenham could overtake Chelsea and climb to third in the league by beating Newcastle.