Tottenham Hot. - Sunderland

Tottenham have noticed two straight defeats in Premier League (fringe players beat Everton in Cup). And while first one was the result of more than a bad luck (Spurs had 22 attempts on goal, but lost vs. Stoke 0-1), second one came from London’s big derby vs. Arsenal (0-3 on the road). Absence of key striker Jermaine Defoe who has been their main goal scorer this season with 6 goals so far was a main reason for not scoring. He served his suspension and will lead the attack. Second important player for goal scoring, Aaron Lennon has an ankle injury and his appearance still hasn’t been confirmed. The key is Spurs will shine against lesser sides, but will struggle against the big 4. Their shape is much better at White Hart Lane than on the road. Harry Redknapp was furious after Arsenal capitulation and demands response. Two side-backs, Bassong and Corluka are as Lennon in doubt (I guess one of them will surely play), but Spurs are well covered and don’t think it will have significant impact.


During the transfer market, Sunderland again spent a lot. Squad looks more than competitive so far. But, problems begin when they left their Stadium of Light. Only one win and one draw with four defeats. In last four games they lost three times and all three times against the clubs from bottom half of the table (Stoke City 0-1, Burnley 1-3 and Birmingham City 1-2). Also, big problem for today’s game is missing of three very important players. Key midfielder Lee Cattermole is injured and won’t play. His fellow midfielder Lorik Cana is suspended, just like striker Kenwyne Jones. Defender John Mensah remains out with a persistent calf problem while another midfielder Zenden is also not fit enough to travel to London. McCartney (defender), Campbell (forward), and Bardsley (defender) all having knocks.  The biggest threat to the opponents will be Darren Bent who left Spurs during the summer. He made a statement today accusing Redknapp he didn’t want him in the club. Manager Steve Bruce will set 4-5-1 formation with Bent alone in front.

In my opinion, this game has a big weight for Redknapp and Spurs. After two consecutive defeats, one more failure could make a serious trouble. Defoe is back, midfield should have a full domination and I see at least two goals scored for Spurs. My only worry is angry and fully motivated Bent. Counting on his possible individual effort, I’ll go on -1 handicap, instead -1.5.


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