This Sunday afternoon we put the Moneybags League behind us temporarily as Sunderland come to White Hart Lane for the next round of Premier League action.
Disappointment, Dembélé and Defoe.
All three will be present and conspicuous for different reasons.
The events of Wednesday evening didn’t so much leave a bad taste in the mouth as a sense of puzzlement. Monaco are obviously a good side, would that we had the pace and trickery of Lemar and Silva up front, but we had the possession, pressure and opportunities to beat them and we didn’t. Having apparently rediscovered our ruthless streak against Stoke, we immediately lost it again. How so?
Many words have been written and read with regards to the importance of Mousa Dembélé to our side and whilst his presence wasn’t quite enough to haul us completely back into the game in the week we certainly looked far better after he came on. It’d be a major surprise if he didn’t start on Sunday. Eric Dier looked knackered when he came off near the end and it wouldn’t be a shock if he was the one to make way. Poch may ponder whether we really need two holding midfielders against Sunderland? If he decides not, and he plays Alli with Dembélé then he has the option of filling the places further forward with a bit more pace than we normally see, if he were to start Sissoko and Son for instance – though that might mean dropping Lamela, which is unlikely.
Jermain Defoe has featured against us a number of times now for Sunderland and has yet to score, though one feels that it’s only a matter of time. He’s still the main man up front for the Rokerites with Fabio Borini’s injury making his position even more secure. The fact that Victor Anichebe, who to be fair has caused us problems before, has been brought in to help out, shows how desperate Moyes is. Elsewhere, record signing Ndong may start for the first time in midfield and Djilobodji, a signing from Chelsea, will probably play alongside Kone in defence. Another signing, Denayer, was apparently brought on to play three at the back towards the end against Everton suggesting that maybe we’ll see a safety first approach from the visitors.
Apparently Lee Cattermole and former Spur Stephen Pienaar may be ready after injury.
Amazingly Sunderland have not won a Premier League game in August or September since 2012 and they were pretty awful, in the second half especially, on Monday. They were though, just minutes away from a draw at all conquering Man City on the opening day of the season so are capable of putting up a fight.
They’ll believe that they’re catching us demoralised after Wednesday and at a low ebb but I don’t see why that would be the case given that so many of our players have things to prove – Kane, Janssen, Sissoko, Son, Wanyama and Davies to name a few.
Soft penalty anyone?
Mike Dean is the man in the middle meaning that Jan Vertonghen in particular needs to be careful where he puts his hands at corners.
A comfortable win would help put Monaco behind us and is very possible, even if there are 50,000 less people there than on Wednesday.
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