Goal-shy Tottenham Hotspur have posted three straight clean sheets in the Premier League and boss Andre Villas-Boas will recall Hugo Lloris into his side for Sunday's visit by Newcastle United to White Hart Lane.
Villas-Boas came under heavy criticism in last Sunday's scoreless draw with Everton at Goodison Park, in which Lloris was allowed to play on despite suffering a head injury due to a collision with Romelu Lukaku.
The Frenchman was knocked unconscious in the 78th minute with Brad Friedel ready to deputise, but Villas-Boas stuck with his No. 1 goalkeeper for the remainder of the match.
''My medical department has followed the Premier League guidelines for this type of situation,'' Villas-Boas said.
However, Lloris was given a night off in midweek, with Friedel getting the start in Thursday's 2-1 victory over Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League. Villas -Boas made nine changes in all, with Andros Townsend, Paulinho and Roberto Soldado notably sitting out.
Also out of the lineup and expected to return on Sunday was defender Vlad Chiriches, who has started in six games in all competitions for Tottenham - posting clean sheets in all of them.
"I feel very good about the clean sheets," said the Romanian captain in an interview with Tottenham's official website. "It's a good feeling for all the team to have so many games without conceding any goals, and it's a good thing for us in the long-term."
Of more concern may be an attack that has produced just nine goals - the lowest total among the top nine teams in the table through 10 matchdays. Only six have come from open play for Spurs, who are on 20 points.
One option for Villas-Boas may be to hand Erik Lamela his first Premier League start. The 21-year-old Argentine scored the opener on Thursday - his first goal for the club after joining from Roma in the summer - and won the penalty for Jermain Defoe's second with an audacious piece of skill.
''Lamela was unbelievable tonight, good on the ball, strong,'' said Defoe, whose penalty made him Spurs' all-time record goalscorer in European competition. ''Sometimes it is difficult coming to a new club at such a young age.''
Newcastle United have given their best displays against the Premier League's London sides in this campaign, with half of their 14 points coming against clubs from the capital city. Their latest scalp came in last Saturday's 2-0 victory over Chelsea, with second-half goals from Yoan Gouffran and Loic Remy securing the points.
Goalkeeper Tim Krul has posted all three of his clean sheets against London sides while allowing 16 goals in his other seven starts, and believes that the Magpies can spring another surprise.
"We are going to Tottenham with a lot of confidence," Krul told Newcastle's official website. "It will be a hard game, we know that, but if we can beat Chelsea then why can't we go there and get something?"
Spurs, meanwhile, have yet to concede a goal against a non-London side. Remy will look to change that having scored six goals in his last six Premier League matches.
"Defensively they have been really strong but we have looked good going forward this season and we know we can cause them problems," Krul said.
Fabricio Coloccini could return for Alan Pardew's side after missing the last four games with a groin injury.
Tottenham have outscored Newcastle 10-1 in winning the last four matchups at White Hart Lane.
- Sports & Recreation
- Newcastle United
- Premier League
- Tottenham Hotspur
- Hugo Lloris
- Brad Friedel