Sunderland v Tottenham – Saturday 29 December – kick-off 12:45pm – Live on Sky Sports
Sunderland against Tottenham is the early kick-off on Saturday in the Barclay’s Premier League and it could be an enthralling game. The hosts have come into a bit of form of late including an impressive 1-0 win against champions Manchester City on Boxing Day, while Gareth Bale’s return to the side helped Spurs blitz Aston Villa 4-0.
The Black Cats’ main problem, as I have said countless times before, is their lack of goals. They do have some very good attacking players in their ranks with Adam Johnson (scored on Boxing Day), Sebastian Larsson and top-scorer Steven Fletcher, but they have only notched 20 goals in their 19 Premier League games to date. At the other end, they’re not too bad, and in fact they have conceded fewer goals than Spurs so far this season.
Two consecutive 1-0 victories has moved them up to 13th in the league table, and beating Manchester City should give them a lot of confidence and belief going into another difficult game for them.
Spurs demolished Aston Villa on Boxing Day, and could and should have won by more goals than they did. Gareth Bale had a field day notching a hat-trick, but I suspect Sunderland will be rather less generous in allowing the Welsh wizard as much time and space as the Villans did. If not, he’s extremely likely to create and score goals for Andre Villas-Boas’ side.
An interesting statistic is that Tottenham have scored in every away fixture so far this season, so I’d expect there to be goals in this game. The pace of Bale and Jermain Defoe will cause problems on the counter attack which has worked well for them on the road, so I’d think that record should continue at the Stadium of Light.