Tottenham Hotspur FC
Stadium of Light
12:30 GMT, 13th Sep 2015
With the International break done, Premier League is back and brings a fixture of two teams looking for their first league victory. Tottenham Hotspur a team that often finds itself in the other half of the table visit Sunderland for a hungry action packed Sunday fixture.
Team News & Tactical Brief
Sunderland come into this game with three Spurs players in their ranks. However, Yedlin (being loaned)will be ineligible to play. Whereas veteran defender Kaboul and Spurs legend Defoe will look to find their way around their former club to grab all three points for Sunderland. New arrival Fabio Borini will also be looked at as a positive for Sunderland after his permanent move to club following a successful loan spell in 2013/14.
Dick Advocaat would want to change the season proceedings by planning for his first victory at home. With important players like Adam Johnson and Steven Fletcher missing, the manager will probably throw Borini into the mix and play an attack minded 4-3-3 formation. Former Manchester City shot Stopper Pantilimon will start while Kaboul and Oa Shea will make up the central defensive pairing. Van-Aanholt and on the left and Jones on the right will complete the defensive four.
It is expected that Lee Cattermole will play a defensive midfield role to watch over the back four while M’Vila and Jack Rodwell will offer their support to the three strikers upfront. This however might prove to be a flaw in their plan as it may leave the Black Cats outnumbered in the midfield and hence exposed. Amongst the three up top, new arrival Fabio Borini will be picked in the central role. The striker who scored 7 goals for Sunderland on loan will hope to make an impact on his second debut with the help of Jermain Defoe and Jeremain Lens on either side.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Pantilimon; Jones, Kaboul, Oa Shea, Van-Aanholt; M’vila, Cattermole, Rodwell; Defoe, Borini, Lens;
News of Christian Eriksen sidelined will be a much welcomed news for Sunderland fans as the Dane has scored thrice in three of his appearances against them. However with Son fit and ready to play, Tottenham fans have something to cheer about. Belgian Moussa Dembele is also doubtful for this clash. With a solid performance against Everton in the previous fixture, Pochettino would prefer to keep the starting eleven unchanged except for the injury. Hence we could once again see the Argentine field his side in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Lloris as always, will start and will have the defensive wall of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen in central defense in front of him. Vertonghen for the past few games has been a shadow of his former self. However, he seems to be getting used to his defensive partner and was looking like his old self against the Toffees. With an improving Kyle Walker on the right and Danny Rose on the left, the Spurs defense will look to keep another clean sheet. Kyle Walker has had a good start this season and it has mainly been attributed to Dier playing as a defensive midfielder, tracking back and covering for him. Hence there is a strong chance Sunderland will be unable to score with all of Spursa defensive holes plugged.
With Dier in a deep defensive midfield role, Bentaleb will take the spot next to him offering a creative outlet in the deep midfield role. Although Bentaleb has made a few errors, he will look to put up a strong performance so that he can retain his spot in the starting eleven. Mason will again be placed in the number ten role whilst having Chadli on the left and possibly Lamela or Alli to the right. Son, yet to acclimatise to the Premier League, will probably be brought on only in the second half. Kane will complete the starting line up as the lone striker and will look to get off the mark against his favourite opponent.
Predicted Lineup: Lloris; Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Dier, Bentaleb; Alli, Mason, Chadli; Kane;
- Tottenham are undefeated in their last ten games against Sunderland
- Sunderland have conceded the highest number of goals this season, ten.
- Sunderland surprisingly have scored more goals this season than Tottenham who are a point ahead
- Spurs have failed to register a win in their first four games for the first time since 2008-09
Player to Watch
Having scored 31 goals in the previous season in all competitions, Harry Kane is under immense pressure this season to repeat the feat as Spursa only striker. However, he has failed to score a goal in the last four games even after a reasonable number of chances. With his confidence soaring high after scoring twice for England in the international break, Kane will most likely start his scoring for the campaign against a weak and struggling Sunderland.
Sunderland 0-3 Tottenham
Although the two teams have started badly, Tottenham have worked hard and have only failed in the final third. Harry Kane will be riding high on confidence and might find himself on the scoresheet in this game. Expect Tottenham to comfortably win this game and collect all three points.