Competition: Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur vs. Sunderland
Venue: White Hart Lane – Saturday, January 16 – 12:45 GMT (07:45 ET)
Match Odds: Spurs 30/100 – Draw 17/4 – Sunderland 9/1
Spurs are fighting for a place in the top four, while the Black Cats are battling for survival. Tottenham still occupy fourth spot, despite their disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Leicester on Wednesday night, and need to pick back up here as they look to win for the first time in 2016.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side enjoyed an excellent Christmas run as they won three straight games to end 2015. But the new year hasn’t been kind to Spurs, as they have not won in three now. Wednesday night’s defeat to Leicester was just their third of the campaign and a response on Saturday is much needed.
That might be tricky against a Sunderland side that have won back-to-back Premier League games coming into this tie. They beat relegation rivals Swansea 4-2 on Wednesday and will be more confident of staying up now.
They are now just one point adrift of safety but will have to beat Spurs for the first time since 2010 to move out of the bottom three, for a couple of hours at least.
The reverse fixture at the Stadium of Light ended 1-0 to Spurs, with a late Ryan Mason goal sealing the victory for the Lilywhites on that occasion.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino will be pleased to have seen Moussa Dembele return to action against Leicester on Wednesday and the Belgian could start in place of Tom Carroll here. Clinton N’Jie remains out, while Ryan Mason and Alex Pritchard are still doubtful and are unlikely to make the squad.
Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce is unlikely to make any changes to the side that won 4-2 at Swansea on Wednesday night. DeAndre Yedlin won’t face his parent club so he is ineligible, while former Spurs defender Younes Kaboul remains sidelines along with Sebastian Larsson and Adam Matthews.
Tottenham’s last five: W/W/W/D/L
Sunderland’s last five: L/L/L/W/W
Key Stat: Tottenham have won their last four home games against Sunderland in the Premier League by an aggregate scoreline of 9-2.
Key Player: Moussa Dembele – The Belgian midfielder should make a first start of 2016 here after recovering from a knock. He has been excellent this season and Spurs have not lost a game in which he has started since October.
Tottenham 2-1 Sunderland – This might be a tighter game than Spurs would like as Sunderland will arrive at White Hart Lane full of confidence. However, the home side need a victory just as much as the Black Cats and should have the quality to get three points here.