No matter how you look at this fixture it is a necessity for both sides to come away with the three points; both for very different reasons, though. Tim Sherwood’s men are hurting and their top four ambitions battered after the demolition handed out by Liverpool. And for Sunderland the Premier League abyss is staring them in the face following the 2-1 slump to West Ham last week.
For Sunderland manager Gus Poyet it is a return to a club remembered fondly by the Uruguayan having made 82 appearances, scoring 18 goals while enjoying a spell as assistant coach to Juande Ramos. Will it be a happy return? Well, Spurs haven’t felt defeat by Sunderland in the last seven meetings between the pair. Take into account the Black Cats have not tasted victory in their last seven league outings, not won at White Hart Lane in six years and the facts don’t read well for Poyet. But, now four points away from safety a defeat is surely unthinkable.
Meanwhile, Spurs are slipping further away from that allusive fourth spot and must win to give themselves any chance of catching North London rivals Arsenal. Oddly, Spurs at this stage are just three points behind where they were last season – which was their highest accumulation of points in the Premier League era. But Spurs appear most comfortable when away from home having scored two more on the road with an extra win on their travels also.
It will be a case of which teams needs the win more come Monday night.
KICK-OFF: Monday, 8pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Sunderland 1 (Johnson) Tottenham H. 2 (Paulinho, O’Shea), Premier League, December 2013
Tottenham H. 1 (Bale) Sunderland 0, Premier League, May 2013
Sunderland 1 (O’Shea) Tottenham H. 2 (Cuellar og, Lennon), Premier League, December 2012
Five of the six Premier League goals that Roberto Soldado has scored this season has been the winning goal.
Spurs have conceded the fewest amount of headed goals in the Premier League this season (1).
Sunderland have scored a league-high 46.4% of their Premier League goals from set pieces this season.
Spurs have not suffered a defeat to Sunderland in the last seven games. The last a 3-1 defeat at the Stadium of Light in 2010.
Tottenham and Manchester United are the only teams not to lose a Premier League game from a winning position.
Tottenham H. to win: 1.55
Sunderland to win: 7.8
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