Competition: Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur vs. Sunderland
Venue: White Hart Lane – Sunday, September 18 – 16:30 BST (11:30 ET)
Match Odds: Tottenham 1/3 – Draw 4/1 – Sunderland 17/2
Spurs will be looking forward to returning to their usual home here but must make sure they don’t get complacent or fatigued after their midweek European commitments.
Mauricio Pochettino will demand an immediate response from his side and will be hoping that can replicate the performance that saw them win 4-0 at Stoke last Saturday.
Harry Kane got his first goal of the season in last weekend’s win and will be expecting to add to his tally in what is a hugely favourable home tie for Spurs.
Sunderland are already struggling in the bottom three after just four games, having not won yet. David Moyes is having a hard time getting his team to gel together and the trip to Spurs won’t fill supporters with much confidence.
The Black Cats have still not won a Premier League game in the months of August or September for four years, so while the slow start is not a surprise, it should be a major concern.
They fell 3-0 at home to Everton on Monday night and seemed vulnerable at the back as Romelu Lukaku netted a hat-trick. If they fail to improve on that display, they will be ripped apart in London on Sunday afternoon.
Last season’s corresponding fixture ended 4-1 to Spurs and another solid home victory is expected here.
Tottenham’s only absentee is Danny Rose, with the left-back set to miss out again through injury so Ben Davies will deputise again. Mousa Dembele is back from suspension and is expected to start in midfield for the first time this season. Heung-Min Son may be dropped from the side that beat Stoke, with Erik Lamela expected to start in his place.
Sunderland have a worryingly long injury list at this early stage of the season. David Moyes will be without Seb Larsson, Vito Mannone, Fabio Borini and Billy Jones, who are all out injured. Steven Pienaar, Lee Cattermole and Victor Anichebe are all lacking match fitness and are unlikely to feature as a result. Jermain Defoe will lead the line against his former club.
Tottenham’s form: D/W/D/W
Sunderland’s form: L/L/D/L
Key Stat: Contrast – Spurs have only lost one of their last ten home games in the Premier League, with Sunderland only managing one win in their last ten away from home.
Key Player: Mousa Dembele – The Spurs midfielder will make his first league appearance of the season here after serving his long suspension carried over from last season. Tottenham are a better side with the Belgian in the team and he will look to control the match from deep, carving out chances for the more advanced players by driving forwards with the power and pace that Spurs have missed so far.
Tottenham 2-0 Sunderland – Spurs are huge favourites here and will be out to impress after their disappointing defeat in the Champions League on Wednesday. They must ensure they don’t let fatigue affect their performance, with Sunderland out to exploit any weaknesses if they do. However, Tottenham have a much stronger squad and should prove too good for a struggling Sunderland side.