Sunderland vs Tottenham Hotspur – Preview

Statistically, this is Tottenham Hotspur’s worst start to a Premier League season since the days of Juande Ramos (shivers). We’re 16th in the table, scored only four goals, and are without a win – whilst at first glance these are terrifying facts, it’s not all doom and gloom.

Sure, we’ve started slowly, but we have a history of that (blame whoever you want to in that regard). One thing that’s for sure is that we will start winning again.

Our football has been free-flowing, enticing, and has fans on the edge of their seats – this fulfils the wish of many when we were winning boring 1-0s under Andre Vilas-Boas, and fans insisted they’d rather lose or draw playing entertaining football.

Ah, the complex minds of football fans.

Continuing the theme of positives, those who worried about Harry Kane’s confidence must’ve been reassured in midweek, when our new number 10 fired home a wonderful first time shot against Switzerland – if he wasn’t confident in his own ability, he would’ve taken a touch.

Keeping the upbeat mood going, we may finally get a chance to see summer signing Heung-Min Son in action on Sunday. The South Korean winger, who joined us from Bayer Leverkusen for £18m, has been given a Hollywood-style treatment by the Spurs media team, conjuring the horrifyingly catchy hashtag “#HereComesTheSon”.

We head north to Sunderland, who, like ourselves, are seeking their first Premier League win of the season. The Black Cats are rooted to the foot of the table, and have an abysmal record vs Spurs, as they are without a win in our last ten meetings.

Last three meetings:

Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Sunderland (17/01/2015, Premier League)

One of many games last season decided by a late Christian Eriksen goal, Sunderland may have felt hard done by after holding out for the majority of the match. Jan Vertonghen’s deflected effort put us ahead early on, before Seb Larsson’s free kick levelled proceedings just after the half-hour mark.

With only five minutes remaining, Andros Townsend’s low cross found our Danish dynamite, whose shot cannoned in via the post.

Hugo Lloris denied Danny Graham brilliantly late in, before Jan Vertonghen’s fifty yard effort was ruled out for an offside, despite the Belgian receiving the ball in our own half.

Sunderland 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur (13/09/2014, Premier League)

A year to the day since the same fixture occurred, and let’s hope it doesn’t have the same outcome.

Nacer Chadli pounced on Emmanuel Adebayor’s rebound to give Spurs an early lead, before Adam Johnson equalised straight from the resulting kick-off. Christian Eriksen was on hand again to put us ahead 2-1, before a Harry Kane goal proved to be crucial – unfortunately, it was in the wrong net.

The draw inevitably resulted in a huge meltdown amongst Tottenham fans – imagine the scenes if we don’t win this time around…

Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Sunderland (07/04/2014, Premier League)

Arguably the pinnacle of the Tim Sherwood era, Spurs battled back from a one-goal deficit to punish Sunderland on an unforgiving North London Monday night.

A characteristic Tottenham defensive error allowed Lee Cattermole to give the visitors the lead. Emmanuel Adebayor levelled later in the first half, before Spurs blew Sunderland away in the second.

Harry Kane headed home his first Premier League goal just before the hour mark, and Christian Eriksen’s shot from distance put the game out of the reach of the Black Cats. Late goals from Adebayor and Gylfi Sigurdsson sealed an emphatic 5-1 victory.

Times certainly have changed since these fixtures, but the man who was present in all of them, Christian Eriksen, won’t play a part this time around, as he continues to recover from a knee injury. Clinton N’Jie and Mousa Dembele are doubts, but Andros Townsend is back in contention after recovering from a foot injury.

Sunderland have four injury concerns, with Steven Fletcher (knock), Adam Johnson (shoulder), Adam Matthews (foot) and Jordi Gomez (knee) expected to sit out.

A win at the Stadium of Light could really kick-start Tottenham’s season – another setback will prove frustrating for everyone at the club.

Predicted XI: Lloris; Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Dier, Bentaleb; Son, Lamela, Chadli; Kane

Sean Walsh

Sean Walsh

The ramblings of a frustrated Spurs fan.
Sean Walsh