A confident Sunderland will play host to Tottenham on Saturday, April 7, 2012, with the Black Cats having held Man City to a draw last week. Spurs are also on a high, having registered their first win in several weeks after beating Swansea at home. Tottenham will also take comfort from the fact they won the reverse fixture over Martin O’Neill’s side at White Hart Lane, 1-0, in the first half of the Premiership.
To find out what time the game between Sunderland and Tottenham is due to begin, take a look at the EPL schedule.
Martin O’Neill appears to have successfully transformed a Black Cats’ squad that were in the doldrums under Steve Bruce, to the extent that they are now firmly ensconced among the top ten teams on the Premiership table and can aspire to finish as high as seventh. That said, Sunderland’s first hurdle comes on the weekend when they face a side against whom they have won just once in their six most recent league games.
A worry for O’Neill, ahead of the Spurs game, is his side’s ramshackle defence that allowed Man City to claw back to a 3-3 draw after the Black Cats had been two goals ahead until late in the game. With a visit to Everton to follow, Sunderland will want a good showing in this game that could alter the equations amongst the Champions League aspirants in the Premiership.
Their 3-1 win against Swansea ended a win-draught for Harry Redknapp’s men who had only six weeks ago nurtured title ambitions. That was undone by five win-less match-weeks and the visit to the Stadium of Light will be crucial to Spurs’ bid to earn a Champions League spot, ahead of Chelsea and Newcastle. That said, Tottenham have an easier schedule than either the Blues or the Magpies and would not want to miss out on any opportunity to bank full three points.
A good run in their remaining games could even see Spurs vying with Gunners for a top three finish. A home game against Norwich is set to be followed by four matches with teams from among the last six on the points table before Spurs sign off with a home game against Fulham.
Aaron Lennon’s return from injury bodes well for Spurs ahead of the visit to Sunderland and his pace on the wing should help rectify their poor recent record at the Stadium of Light that has witnessed just the solitary win in six matches played. For the Black Cats, O’Shea’s return from injury should shore up their central defence; he is likely to be joined by Michael Turner to try and plug the leak in the backline that has seen five goals shipped, in the last two matches.
Sunderland’s probable eleven: Mignolet, O’Shea, Turner, Colback, Bardsley, Cattermole, Gardner, Larsson, McClean, Sessegnon, Bendtner.
Tottenham’s probable eleven: Friedel, Kaboul, King, Assou-Ekotto, Walker, Modric, Parker, Bale, Lennon, Van der Vaart, Adebayor.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.