Sunderland v Tottenham Team News

Sunderland v Tottenham Team News

Harry Redknapp and his Tottenham team travel to Sunderland for Saturday evening’s Premier League game and they face a difficult task when they take Steve Bruce’s side who are determined to rectify a recent slump in home form.

Bruce has turned the SoL into something of a fortress since his arrival on Wearside but the two league games that Sunderland have lost at home this season have come since Christmas, it’s true the Black Cats were all over Blackpool before being Tangerined 0-2 to leave around 40,000 witnesses scratching their heads at the vagaries of football. But, once Chelsea had weathered a stormy first half, they went on to a comfortable victory in the Tuesday night game at the beginning of February and Bruce will want a quick response from his side before a losing habit starts to develop.

Spurs come into the game on the back of two successive victories which have addressed a previous three game winless streak and with a Champions League qualifying position well within reach, Saturday’s television audience can expect the fifth and seventh placed sides to go all out for a win.

Bookmakers are finding it difficult to separate the merits of these two sides who are enjoying an excellent season and have shown they are capable of matching any opposition placed in front of them. Redknapp will win the argument as to which team has made the greatest strides and if he were a betting man would be looking to Corals odds of 9/5 for the away win. But Sunderland have taken bigger scalps than Spurs this season, Manchester City left Wearside without a point and Sir Alex Ferguson couldn’t believe his luck in taking a point back to Old Trafford. Considering how dangerous Sunderland can be on the counter attack the 7/4 odds for a home win will have plenty of takers and Bet365, Boylesports, Betfred and Victor Chandler among others can expect to take some business with that position.

Bruce will be forced to play a lone striker again; the sale of Darren Bent has left just Asamoah Gyan available until Fraizer Campbell and Danny Welbeck return from injury. Gyan scored the goal that earned Sunderland a point at White Hart Lane in November and the World Cup star is available at odds of 11/2 with Victor Chandler and Paddy Power to open the scoring on Saturday. Kieran Richardson will continue to provide support for the Ghanaian where he has been a revelation scoring four goals in the last three games, Sportingbet may not have woken up to the fact that Richardson is playing a more advanced role since Bent left, as it is offering odds of 7/2 for the utility man to score at anytime in the game.

Sunderland’s starlet Jordan Henderson may be doubtful, the Sunderland boss has said he’ll wait for a late fitness before deciding if the ever-present midfielder takes part. Club captain, Lee Cattermole and David Meyler remain on the injured list, so Bruce will continue with January signing Sully Muntari in the centre of midfield despite pulling him off against Chelsea on his debut.

Redknapp also has problems in his midfield, Rafael van der Vaart picked up a hamstring injury against Bolton and Gareth Bale could miss out with his back problem which will take some of the attacking venom out of Harry’s midfield.

Possible starting line ups:
SUNDERLAND: Gordon, Onuoha, Mensah, Ferdinand, Bramble, Bardsley, Malbranque, Muntari, Sessegnon, Richardson, Gyan.
TOTTENHAM: Gomes, Corluka, Gallas, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto, Jenas, Palacios, Lennon, Kranjcar, Crouch, Defoe.
 
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