Tottenham v Sunderland – madness and mayhem makes magic
The madness and mayhem that makes the magic of the EPL means this clash between two sides battling at both ends of the table far is harder to call than their league positions would suggest.
Tottenham have been brilliant all season but suffered a mid-week blip and dent to their top four aspirations whilst Sunderland claimed three vital points with a 4-2 win at Swansea as they fight against the very real prospect of relegation.
DEFOE ON FIRE
Spurs will be looking to bounce back following midweek defeat to a late goal by joint league leaders Leicester while Sunderland will be looking for their striker to extend a hot goal scoring run. Jamie Defoe returns to White Hart Lane having hit a hat trick at Swansea to make it five goals from his last two games and Spurs fans will know all about the potential of the striker to capitalise on a chance.
Defoe’s three goals mid week was his first hat trick in the EPL since he scored five for Spurs against Wigan in 2009 and his potency could be the deciding factor in Sunderland’s season.
‘NEED TO IMPROVE EVERYTHING’
They have Harry Kane to score their goals now but the lack of support for the young striker is a concern for many Spurs fans are hoping boss Mauricio Pochettino improves his squad with the addition of another recognised attacker during this transfer window. Having remained unbeaten at home in their first eight games of the season Spurs have now lost two of their last three EPL matches at White Hart Lane.
Draws are becoming more frequent with four in. “We need to improve in all areas and all aspects,” said Pochettino. “For me football is about a lot of things, not only one, because it’s a collective effort, collective game. It’s impossible to speak of only one thing.”
Online football tipsters may speak of Spurs recent record against Sunderland in making their assessment of the sides chances – Spurs have won eight of the last 11 games against the Black Cats and have not suffered a defeat to them.
Punters who like a halftime bet may note that in those 11 games the sides were level at the break while those who look at history will discover that Sunderland have not beaten Spurs since April 2010.
Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce was delighted with the win at relegation rivals Swansea as his side took full advantage against ten-men to take all the points.
“It’s an unbelievable win to give us hope,” said Allardyce, who commented on the importance of “clinical Mr Defoe,” saying: “Irrespective of whether you’re in a dominant position or not, he can change a game in your favour by giving him one chance.”
Looking ahead to Saturday’s match, Allardyce added: “I think their [Tottenham’s] main aim would be to finish in the Champions League and if the title came around, that would be one of those seasons they dream about.”
By: Joe Cahal