Tottenham, having moved up to 6th in the Premier League with their win at troubled Fulham, face another relegation threatened side at Sunderland who are managed by former Spurs player and assistant manager, Gus Poyet. Both teams are in great need of a win at the Stadium of Light.
Team: Lloris; Walker, Capoue, Dawson, Naughton; Dembele, Paulinho; Lennon, Holtby, Chadli; Defoe Subs: Friedel, Fryers, Lamela, Sandro, Sigurdsson, Townsend, Soldado
The draw at home to Manchester United and the nature of the performance lifted some of the pressure which had been building on Andre Villas-Boas’ shoulders during the previous week. The win at Fulham was another step forward but it was fortuitous in that the home side had caused Spurs considerable problems at Craven Cottage and Spurs looked incapable of resolving them until Vlad Chiriches’ equaliser with Lewis Hotby then securing the win with a stunning strike. A defeat at Sunderland could see the return of the speculation about AVB’s future at Totttenham.
Date: Saturday, 7th December
Kick-off Time: 5.30 pm (UK time)
TV Channel: Sky Sports
Spurs League Record at Sunderland (inc. PL)
P 50 W 14 D 14 L 22 For 50 Ag 76
Record at Sunderland in PL
P 12 W 4 D 3 L 5 For 16 Ag 16
Dec. 2012 Won 2 – 1 Lennon, Opp. o.g.
Related Article: Tottenham’s Record at Sunderland Read more
Sunderland are now under the control of two former Tottenham players – Gus Poyet assisted by Mauricio Taricco. They took over from Paolo Di Canio in early October with Sunderland having failed to win any of their five opening League games. They have since recorded two wins against Newcastle United and Manchester City. They also took a point at Aston Villa in a scoreless draw but still remain in last position in the League with 8 points, two behind Crystal Palace and Fulham.
Sunderland earned deserved credit for their part in a 7-goal thriller against Chelsea on Wednesday evening. Sunderland took an early lead through Altidore but Chelsea responded immediately and then went ahead before the interval. The home side drew level early in the second half when O’Shea scored but Hazard’s second goal swung the match in Chelsea’s favour. An own goal by Bardsley then increased the pressure on Sunderland but two minutes later Bardsley turned hero with Sunderland’s third. A fighting display from the home team and Spurs can expect more of the same this evening from Poyet’s side.
Poyet, who was another of the name’s linked with Spurs in last weekend’s rumours about AVB, has gone for experience in his side and has restored some of the players who were out of favour with the previous manager. He will be demanding another totally committed performance from his side against Spurs. They have scored only 11 goals in the Premier League but conceded 28. Their leading goalscorers in all competitions are Bardsley and Giaccherini with 3 each and Altidore with 2.
Another match that Tottenham are expected to win and take the opportunity to improve their goal scoring record. It hasn’t happened like that this season so expect another tense evening watching Spurs. Sunderland like most teams will defend in numbers and hope to catch Spurs on the break when their patient passing breaks down. They will also look to trouble the Tottenham defence at corners and set-pieces so Spurs will have to try to cut out defensive errors and not give away unnecessary set-pieces.
Spurs will hope to improve on their recent record at the Stadium of Light which has seen them undefeated in the last three games with two wins and a scoreless draw.
Sunderland will be without goalkeeper Keiren Westwood and experienced defender Carlos Cuellar.
Tottenham will have to find a replacement at left back for the injured Jan Vertonghen. With Danny Rose still not recovered, Kyle Naughton will probably deputise. Mousa Dembele may be available following the hip problem which prevented him playing at Craven Cottage.