Tottenham Hotspur v Sunderland
Monday 7th April. 8:00PM. Sky Sports 1
This weekend’s set of Premier League fixtures concludes with the Monday night clash between Tottenham and Sunderland.
Gus Poyet’s men were left disappointed by defeat against West Ham last Monday; defeat against a second London club within a week could spell disaster for their survival bid. Meanwhile, Tim Sherwood is reportedly fighting for his job after another dismal display at Liverpool.
Who will hold their nerves in this one?
Spurs Seek Win To Keep European Hopes Alive
Realistically, three defeats in four has seen Tottenham’s Champions League dreams ended for another year. However, with Everton facing Arsenal on Sunday, Sherood’s men won’t be throwing the towel in just yet and could make one late push for a top four finish.
To do that, Spurs need a spotless record throughout the final six games and cannot afford to drop any points. On paper, the home match with Sunderland should be the easiest fixture of the lot.
For all their troubles, only Manchester City and Arsenal have claimed points at White Hart Lane since Christmas so Spurs should be confident against 19th-placed Sunderland.
Nevertheless, Sherwood and Tottenham will be fearful of missing out on Europe altogether. By the time they take to the pitch, Spurs could be down to seventh – which, if Arsenal win the FA Cup as expected, won’t be enough even for a Europa League spot.
The pressure is on for Spurs, now is the time for some of those big summer signings to prove their worth,
Can Black Cats Inflict More Bad Luck On Spurs?
If Spurs think they are under pressure, though, they should try Gus Poyet’s shoes on for size.
Despite clear improvements with regards to performance, the results have not been great and the Wearsiders are still in the bottom three. It’s hardly ‘game over’ for Sunderland, but time is quickly running out and it is hard to see them staying up.
The Black Cats were superb during their run to Wembley, but since losing the Capital One Cup final to Manchester City they have picked up just one point from four league matches. After such promising signs during Poyet’s early weeks, Sunderland look set for a truly disappointing end to the campaign.
Still, they have nothing to lose and could potentially upset a vulnerable Spurs – who suffered that humiliating 4-0 loss at Anfield last Sunday. Even if they do, relegation beckons.
Tottenham Hotspur V Sunderland Betting
Bet 365 make Tottenham the clear favourites at ½ , with Sunderland priced 5/1 and the draw available at 10/3.
Under Andre Villas Boas, Spurs boasted a strong backline (embarrassments to Manchester City and Liverpool aside) during the first half of the campaign. The problems back then was a lack of goals scored.
However, since Sherwood’s appointment, the defence has become increasingly worse and has now conceded 11 times in just four matches. One clean sheet in six is not good enough for a team with Spurs’ ambition, particularly as they aren’t prolific scorers.
If Sunderland are going to get anything from this, they need to take advantage of a poor defence.
Spurs afforded Southampton a 2-0 lead in their last home game before turning things around and even if Sunderland do strike first, the alarm bells won’t be ringing at White Hart Lane.
In spite of their poor form, Tottenham should be scoring a few against a team like Sunderland.
The one player to thrive under Sherwood’s guidance has been Emmanuel Adebayor. His absence was noticeable at Anfield, but he should return for this fixture and will be looking to his tally of eight league goals.
If he opens the scoring then there’s every chance he’ll get more against the drowning Black Cats, so take up Betfred’s DD/HH offer.