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Weekend Premier League predictions

Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

Pardew fears Newcastle player exodus

Alan Pardew has revealed the shadow of vultures swooping for his star names at Newcastle is a constant worry.

After being widely criticised upon his appointment at Newcastle, Pardew has won over the Magpies faithful by building a side which plays effervescent, attacking football - an approach which has moved them into contention for Champions League qualification.

Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye, Cheik Tiote, Tim Krul and Fabricio Coloccini are highly regarded, established Premier League names and Pardew is aware they could be targets for big teams.

"If I can keep the same group of players I wouldn't worry [about raising expectations]," Pardew told the Daily Telegraph. "But will I be able to keep my best team? We are vulnerable to bigger clubs and you can't get away from that with the salaries they offer."

Magpies owner Mike Ashley has come in for criticism for some decisions he has made, the recent renaming of St James' Park being one, but Pardew claims his boss has the club's interests at heart and they have a transfer policy that they will not shift from.

"We need to buy players who are going to have value, we don't buy 31-year-olds," he said ahead of this weekend's North East derby, which is live on ESPN. "Those players are not on our agenda at all. Newcastle have made mistakes in the past in doing that and we won't do it again.

"When we negotiate with clubs and players we are pretty tough and you need to be in this financial climate - as Rangers and Portsmouth have shown. The model we have got is a good model for these times."

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