Match Preview: Sunderland vs. Tottenham Hotspur

This is the 32nd time Tottenham and Sunderland have met in the Premier League, Spurs have won 21 of those fixtures and drawn just five times. Sunderland are winless in their last 13 Premier League matches against Spurs, drawn 3 and lost 10. Spurs won 1-0 earlier in the season with a goal from close range from Harry Kane.  Spurs dominated the game with 73.7 possession, and Sunderland only having two shots on target. Harry Kane has scored at 19 different stadiums but is yet to net at the Stadium of Light although this will be only his 3rd appearance there. Sunderland are winless in five games in the Premier League and find themselves bottom of the league on 15 points, three points from safety. Spurs are undefeated in seven games and are third in the league, 9 points behind leaders Chelsea. 

Sunderland usually line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation but have experimented with a back three like many teams this season. Sunderland have had a lot of defensive problems, with injuries and suspensions. Papy Djilobodji currently serving a four-match ban for violent conduct, he has made 18 appearances this season. They may also be without Patrick Van Aanholt with a potential transfer to Crystal Palace to reunite with Sam Allardyce. Sunderland have had 3 red cards only Manchester City have more, Spurs are yet to receive a red card. Sunderland have kept only 2 clean sheets this season and conceded 42 goals, they have managed to score 20 goals and Jermain Defoe has twelve of them. Spurs have switched between a 4-3-2-1 formation and a 3-4-2-1 depending on the opponent. Spurs average over 520 passes a game with an 82% pass accuracy. Spurs lead the league in shots per game averaging 17.7, Sunderland are near the bottom managing on average just 9.9 efforts a game. Spurs are averaging 2.05 goals a game and Sunderland are conceding on average 1.91 goals per game.   

Christian Eriksen has covered more ground than any other Premier League player this season with 251.2km. Jermain Defoe scored 91 goals in 276 Premier League appearances for Spurs but he has only managed to score 1 goal against them, back in 2008 when he was at Portsmouth. Victor Wanyama has been in impressive form this season and looking like Spurs best transfer, he leads Spurs in most passes and tackles. He showed his versatility in Tottenham’s last game by stepping into central defence in the 2-2 draw away to Manchester City. Sunderland’s last game was a 2-0 away defeat to West Bromwich Albion. They have managed only four wins this campaign, and three draws. They must show the same determination and commitment shown when they drew 2-2 with Liverpool at home a few weeks ago. Spurs will feel they need to win this game to maintain a challenge for the Premier League, they can’t afford to drop many more points behind Chelsea.

How the two sides may line up: