Competition: Barclays Premier League
Opponents: Sunderland AFC
Venue: White Hart Lane
Tottenham will have the opportunity for an immediate reaction to a disappointing 1-0 midweek defeat to Leicester City with this Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off against Sunderland. Robert Huth’s late winner has seen the Spurs Twitterdom turn a slight shade of puce in the days following, but in all honesty there’s probably not a lot for people to be too morbid about after the defeat at the hands of The Foxes. Tottenham’s performance was of the quality we’ve come to expect in recent weeks, with the boys carving out chance after chance. Continued slices of luck fell into Leicester’s grateful clutches and the fact that Spurs travelled home that evening with no points on the board truly defied logic.
With a team that will undoubtedly be hungry for retribution, a repeat result seems the most improbable of outcomes.
The Black Cats, meanwhile, come into the match with a good 4-2 away victory under their belt against fellow Premier strugglers and will be looking to build further momentum with a positive result against Spurs.
Mousa Dembele will have the opportunity to rekindle his excellent pre-injury form, as Mauricio Pochettino may look to shake up the team following two games on the bounce that have seen Tottenham unable to answer the questions thrown at them by Leicester City. On the other side of the pitch, Sunderland loanee DeAndre Yedlin will be ineligible to feature against his parent club. Clinton N’jie and Ryan Mason are both still ruled out by injury.
Cat amongst the pigeons?
The return of JD in sh*t hot form could be a concern, with the former Tottenham fan favourite coming into the match off the back of a well-taken (albeit mostly offside) hat-trick against Swansea City in their midweek fixture. We all know what little Jermain is capable of on his day, and the Tottenham backline could well have their hands full. Sunderland will have to wait for Dole N’Doye to make his debut, however, as he awaits a work permit following his move from Trabzonspor.
What can we expect?
Tottenham dominance counteracted with aggressive defensive play and long balls, in short. Everybody knows what to expect with Sam Allardyce. As was, is, and always will be. Big Sam has his formula and he’ll stick to it. It’s a percentages game based on the premise that a rigid, defensively organised team will be a foundation for continued Premier League survival. It works, but for a team like Spurs expecting to qualify for the Champions League, it should be a challenge that is easily surmountable. A win on Saturday will put a good campaign back on track following a minor blip.
By Joe Thomas