Spurs v Sunderland – Match preview

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

So will he or won’t he? Jermain Defoe, Spurs executive box owner, European goalscoring record holder and the man who has probably given linesmen (and women) all over England more work than any other player in recent times may well be back at White Hart Lane this Saturday… sitting on the bench in the away strip of Sunderland. It’d be fun to see him, I’m not sure though that he’ll be registered in time though.

The Rokerites, like most teams in the league, need a goal scorer and that’s why they’ve brought Defoe back in from the Toronto cold. I assumed that the little fella would score a veritable hatful over there (if Robbie Keane can then surely?) but obviously something has gone wrong or wasn’t to his liking, or maybe he’d not looked at a map properly before he put pen to paper.

Connor Whickham was the man who was getting the goals for Sunderland during their incredible relegation-avoiding run at the end of last season but unfortunately for them (and him) he’s not continued where he left off this campaign. Jose Altidore, Stephen Fletcher, Danny Graham, you can see why Defoe is viewed as a good buy, just don’t let him take penalties is my advice. Sunderland currently lie 16th, jostling in the pack at the bottom, trying for a good position ahead of the sprint for the line in April and May. It’s very tight down there, currently, Everton in 12th are only three points clear of 18th.

In free kick specialist Larsson and especially in Adam Johnson (why don’t we buy him I’ve often wondered) Sunderland carry a threat but apart from those two they’re mostly pussycats. Brown and O’Shea shouldn’t present too much of a barrier to a fit and rested Kane, Eriksen and Chadli (he says cockily). Hopefully Mason and Lamela will be back though any possible replacements are going to be full of bounce following the comeback on Wednesday night. Fazio and, the still getting to grips with things, Walker will return but it’ll be interesting to see over the coming months what happens to Rose if the coach thinks his experiment in playing him further forward against Burnley was a success.

Despite the loss against Palace there’s still a feelgood atmosphere about the place at the moment. The team currently contains a whole bunch of players you feel are desperate to play for the club and who we enjoy supporting. The youngsters obviously respond to Pochettino and we respond to them. The points dropped last weekend make this game important of course, but then they all are at present, not least the two home cup games that follow this one. ‘Burn out’ and ‘tired legs’ are phrases we’re going to hear a lot in the next few weeks. Apparently when we played Man Utd we’d already played ten more games than them this season! Obviously our League Cup and Europa League involvement means that this gap is going to get even wider. Let’s hope the weariness holds off for a while yet.

Oh no, Chris Foy is the referee. Never mind. COYS!

 

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