What can we say about this fixture? The Premier League comes to a close for another season today as we take on Paolo Di Canio’s Sunderland at White Hart Lane although many Spurs fans will be concentrating on a fixture up in Tyneside.
Usually a home fixture to Sunderland would carry barely any baggage. A bottom side team with noting much in the way of true talent. However this fixture contains a scenario Spurs fans are very use to. We must win to be contenders for fourth spot hoping that Arsenal don’t win against Newcastle at St. James’ Park.
The last time we played Sunderland at White Hart Lane we beat the, 1-0 thanks to a goal from Roman Pavlyuchenko – a fixture I was lucky enough to attend. The game began with. A mixture of possession however Spurs dominated throughout. The goal was just not happening in late 2011 however substitute Pavlyuchenko entered the fixture and on the 61st minute latched onto a magnificent Rafael Van Der Vaart pass. Spurs missed chances from Modric, Sandro and Van Der Vaart in the game however the win put Tottenham into 3rd.
The game will be significantly different all round to the last game as both managers have changed as well as significant changes to both sides and a young Danny Rose enjoying a unusual stint in the Spurs ranks that day.
The game today is simply a must win. Tottenham hold a particularly unlucky record when it comes to hoping for results from other fixtures as it showed in midweek when Arsenal thrashed the supposed FA Cup champions. This fixture carries the same atmosphere as did the last game of last year when Tottenham took on Fulham and Arsenal took on West Brom in very similar scenarios and well, you know what happened there.
I expect us to comfortably beat the Black Cats. There are nothing very special and to be honest we enjoyed a very good win away in December and only wobbled briefly because of a very noisy Stadium of light crowd. Most pundits, although believe we will fail in our quest for Champions League, believe that we will comfortably win this game, Sky Sports’ Jamie Redknapp predicting a 3-0 win.
I expect Mousa Dembélé to return to the side after coming on as a substitute against Stoke. Although a super sun role proved to suit the Belgian, I expect AVB to opt for him over Huddlestone whom’s form continues to rise and dip. Clint Dempsey should enjoy another start after picking up our MOTM award last week as he scored and assisted in the win. His inclusion in the starting XI could force Bale to go wide or Clint himself enjoy that left wing role. The squad should remain the same elsewhere. Benoit suffered an injury in the week but as confirmed by Andre, he looks set to play.
Sunderland however have multiple problems leading into the game. Di Canio will be forced to name a different side to the one which drew 1-1 against Southampton last time out as on-loan defender Danny Rose is ineligible to play against his parent club. Titus Bramble could come into the side with John O’Shea moving to left back. A huge positive for Tottenham is that Sunderland’s only real stars Stephane Sessegnon and Craig Gardner are suspended for the match after their respective red cards in previous weeks.
Tottenham 2 – 0 Sunderland
So! There’s our latest match preview! Hope you have enjoyed it! A huge game today, make sure you follow it minute by minute @TalkingTHFC. Match buildup and live match commentary.