Match Preview – Sunderland (Away)

Tottenham are back to winning ways, can they continue the run at Sunderland this weekend against former player and assistant manager Gus Poyet? Last season, Spurs did the double over the Black Cats, however, an Asia Cup outing saw Spurs fall to their fellow Premier League partners. Upon our last visit to the Stadium of Light, we came off 2-1 winners with Aaron Lennon gaining the winning goal.

Spurs have not lost to Sunderland in their last six Premier League matches, with the Black Cats scoring just three goals. In 12 Premier League trips to Wearside, Tottenham have won more times (five) than they have lost (four). They are unbeaten in their last three visits. Sunderland have scored four own goals this season, at least two more than any other side. The Black Cats have had just 33 shots on target this season – the lowest tally in the top flight. They have lost a league-high eight points from winning positions this season. Tottenham are one of only two teams (along with Newcastle) yet to score more than twice in a Premier League game this season. They have lost just two of their last eight Premier League away matches.
Spurs are one of only two sides in the top half of the table to have a minus goal difference.

Sunderland left-back Andrea Dossena has insisted that his side have a good opportunity to beat Tottenham on Saturday afternoon but will this indeed come true? I don’t think so. Sunderland are indeed a good side and have a strong manager behind them – including one that has experience with Spurs – however, I think Spurs will have just enough to overcome the Black Cats. Wednesday nights victory (however depressing) did show glimpses of magic, especially from our record signing Erik Lamela. The man is coming along well and performed some excellent runs and skill which showed shimmers of why we paid the substantial fee that we did. He looks a lot more competitive and feisty which could have come from a gradual introduction to London life.

Injury wise, Sunderland have some substantial problems. Carlos Cuellar is out with a hip problem, Kieran Westwood carrying a shoulder injury and John O’Shea facing a late fitness test after his groin injury picked up against Chelsea. For Spurs, Christian Eriksen has returned to training this week as confirmed via his Instagram account however is still out of action. Danny Rose continues to be sidelined because of his ankle delay and to further add to Tottenham’s problems, Jan Vertonghen will miss the game after his ankle knock picked up at Craven a Cottage. Mousa Dembélé will face a late fitness test after missing the game against his former employees and Harry Kane continues to be sidelined with a back problem. I expect to see Roberto Soldado returning to the side after being rested for a Jermain Defoe in the week.

Predicted team: Lloris, Walker, Chiriches, Dawson, Naughton, Sandro, Paulinho, Lennon, Dembélé, Lamela, Soldado.

Predicted score: Sunderland 1-2 Tottenham (Lamela, Paulinho)

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