OPPONENTS Sunderland 
COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Tuesday 31st January 2017
VENUE Stadium Of Light
Sunderland  SQUAD .



PREVIEW Sunderland are in big trouble at the wrong end of the Premier League table, but David Moyes is trying to turn that around with a fair bit of business in the last few days of the transfer window.  Bringing in Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson from his old club Everton to replace the outgoing Patrick van Aanholt, Moyes is trying to beef up a squad hit by injuries, absences at AFCON and players out of form. 

They will have Vito Mannone in goal after young Jordan Pickford's impressive run came to an end with knee ligament injury.  Mannone has problems with angles and coming for high balls, plus his work with his feet is not the best.  Spurs could get some joy by pressurising him on back-passes and getting shots on target to try him out.

In front of him Lamina Kone returns from the African Cup of Nations, while Joleon Lescott has signed for his old boss after an unsuccessful spell in Greece.  Djilobodji is suspended, while Jason Denayer is a doubt with a groin problem and Paddy McNair misses the game with an ACL injury, as does Duncan Whatmore and Victor Anichebe.  Defender Jan Kirchhoff has cartilage problems, so is out for a while, so defensively, they are light in numbers, although John O'Shea can slip in there after a spell playing in midfield. 

The midfield misses Cattermole, while Piennar is a doubt, but Ndong is back from Africa (although Khazri is not) and Darron Gibson has come in from Goodison, because Rodwell and Larsson have been ineffective this season.  Lynden Gooch is returning from injury and Adnan Januzaj is still there on loan from Man United. 

Up front, Jermain Defoe has been the mainstay of their goal-scoring and was developing a good partnership with Anichebe until the latter's injury, having only Fabio Borini as cover.  Goals have been an issue for Sunderland for a couple of seasons now, but they do let too many in, even with Pickford between the sticks. 

They have picked up a few decent results, but haven't won since before Christmas and have lost to WBA, Burnley, Stoke and Manchester United in that run.  Two draws, one against Liverpool have not been a good return from those matches.  Moyes will set out his side to frustrate, but we have seen how Spurs have the legs of most teams in the top flight, so the Sunderland players might have benefitted from a weekend off, but their lack of depth in the squad means these will be the core of the team between now and mid-May, so we will see how they stand up to Spurs.  The home crowd are disillusioned and leave after going a couple of goals down, so the atmosphere could soon turn against the Black Cats.

With the buoyant mood after coming back to beat Wycombe and salvaging a point at Manchester City, Spurs should be on good spirit, but need to ensure they put the effort in as Sunderland will not just be turning up to get beaten, although I think that is how the game will pan out.

PREDICTION Sunderland    1        Tottenham Hotspur    2
LAST SEASON'S MEETING For a look back at the match report, click here.
RESULTS HISTORY Click here for results, match reports and facts on meetings with Sunderland
Sunderland TEAM NEWS :
Victor Anichebe misses the rest of the season with knee ligament trouble, an injury that also rules out keeper Jordan Pickford, Paddy McNair and Duncan Whatmore. Jan Kirchhoff misses the match with a cartilage problem and Lee Cattermole's hip injury keeps him out until March. Doubts exist over the availability of Jason Denayer (groin), Steven Pienaar (calf) and Javier Manquillo (calf). New signings Darron Gibson and Bryan Oviedo may be available. Lamina Kone and Didier Ndong return to action after playing in the African Cup of Nations, but Wahbi Kahzri is still involve din the competition with Egypt. Papy Djilobodji is serving a four match ban for his second sending off this season.
Erik Lamela (hip), Jan Vertonghen (ankle) and Kieran Trippier (hip) are all ruled out, but Harry Kane, Danny Rose and Toby Alderweireld return to the squad.

Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - Wednesday 22.45 (highlights)   Also available online.

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Sunderland  0 (0)  

Premier League
Tuesday 31st January 2017
Stadium Of Light
Tottenham Hotspur  0 (0)

Kick off 19:45
None None
Rodwell (foul on Dembele)  33 
Manquillo (foul on Wanyama)  65




Crowd :   40,058 Weather :  Chilly, wet before the game
Referee :  Lee Mason (Bolton) Assistant Referees :  Mr. S. Beck; Mr. A. Halliday
Fourth Official :  Craig Pawson  
Spurs  kicked off and played towards the South end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 6 minutes.
Sunderland : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  1  Vito MANNONE

  2  Billy Jones
22  Javier MANQUILLO
16  John O'SHEA (c)
23  Lamine KONE

  4  Jason DENAYER
17  Didier NDONG
7  Sebastien LARSSON
  8  Jack RODWELL 

  9  Fabio BORINI  (39  George HONEYMAN  72)

18  Jermain DEFOE

Unused subs: 
12  MIKA
  2  Donald LOVE
15  Joleon LESCOTT
20  Steven PIENAAR
46  Lynden GOOCH

  13  Michel VORM

  2  Kyle WALKER
15  Eric DIER
  3  Danny ROSE  (33  Ben DAVIES  38)

19  Mousa DEMBELE  (  9  Vincent JANSSEN  85)
12  Victor WANYAMA

  7  Heung-Min SON  (17  Moussa SISSOKO  73)
10  DELE Alli
23  Christian ERIKSEN

10  Harry KANE (c)

Unused subs: 
30  Pau LOPEZ
29  Harry WINKS


Manager :  David Moyes Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino
Sponsor :   dafabet Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  adidas Kit Supplier :   Under Armour
Match report

Spurs were frustrated by a resolute defensive performance from Sunderland, which had been lacking for much of their season so far, resulting in a 0-0 draw.  Tottenham looked little tired and failed to carve out too many clear cut chances, with perhaps the best two both falling to the less than prolific Victor Wanyama.

While Spurs tried to break through the massed ranks the home side got behind the ball, their out ball was normally to Jermain Defoe and he showed his strength in taking on Alderweireld, before his shot was deflected away for a corner.  It seemed like every time Tottenham attacked, Sunderland just did enough to get the ball away from our players.  Denayer's clearance against Kane's back put his side in trouble and the Spurs captain's pass in from the right across the six yard box was cut out before it reached Son in the middle. 

Sunderland had two good chances with Borini either side of a penalty shout for a foul on Walker by Denayer.  The first came when Defoe held off Toby well and then the Italian's touch was poor taking the ball wide instead of shooting first time, then he was in with a clear shot at goal and with all of it to aim at, he hit a tame shot at the Spurs keeper.

It sparked a period of Spurs pressure with Rose tormenting the defence up the left and Mousa Dembele using his strength to hold the ball and to go past players as if they weren't there.   Wanyama tested Mannone with a 25 yard shot that the keeper dived left to push wide and then Son nearly got on the end of a long through ball, but O'Shea just got a touch on it to take it away from the Spurs man.  Mousa was taken out with a criminal challenge by Rodwell, who is not good enough to keep up with him and Spurs would have been away, so he knew what he was doing.

Lee Mason showed yet another example of being able to spot a foul ,when Jones went through Rose and the England left back had to be replaced by Davies.  Walker then needed treatment after clashing heads with Larsson, but Kyle could carry on as did Larsson. 

There were free-kicks galore from the referee, but none came to anything, so into the second half, Spurs had a great chance in the first minute, when Son's low cross was missed at the near post by Dele Alli, who looked to side-foot it at goal.   An Eriksen corner went all the way through to the far post, with Kane having a shot blocked, then Christian hit a low free-kick from 25 yards, which Mannone grabbed low at his post. 

Spurs were pushing forward and Walker had a shot deflected over for a corner, which was taken short, as a number of them had been and Alli had a close range shot blocked.  The next corner was played in longer, ending in a Son cross to Wanyama at the far post, but he couldn't keep his diving header down and it went over, when it if had been on target, it might have put Spurs ahead.  Son had a shot headed away by Kone and Walker's fast cross was headed out to Alli, whose shot went over, via a deflection, as Sunderland dropped deeper. 

When you want the ball to fall to someone, you would probably not pick Wanyama, as a cross was causing panic and dropped to him just outside the D, but he shot way into the empty seats behind the goal.  A late corner saw Eric Dier glance a header into the side netting, but it was the last chance and Spurs dropped two points against the bottom team when they had a chance to close the gap at the top.

It was a pretty lacklustre affair, but the Black Cats will be happier with the point that Tottenham.  The upcoming game at home to Middlesbrough will be more of the same, so the squad have some work to do in training to get their tempo back to what it has been lately and to work out how to get around even the most packed of defences.  With Chelsea and Liverpool drawing and the Goons losing, it would have been a great time to pick up some points on them, but the unbeaten run goes on and the team will have dips in form.  If you can still pick up points when not playing that great, then we will have to regard them as a bonus.

Stanford Rivers




Sunderland were sponsored by Nissan back in the 1980s, with the factory nearby making cars, as the company wanted the tag line "Cars from the Land of the Rising Sunderland".  Unfortunately, relegation put paid to that advertising slogan.


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What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Arsenal 1 Watford 2 Tuesday
Bournemouth 0 Crystal Palace 2 Tuesday
Burnley 1 Leicester City 0 Tuesday
Liverpool 1 Chelsea 1 Tuesday
Middlesbrough 1 West Bromwich Albion 1 Tuesday
Swansea City 2 Southampton 1 Tuesday
Manchester United 0 Hull City 0 Wednesday
Stoke City 1 Everton 1 Wednesday
West Ham United London 0 Manchester City 4 Wednesday



League Table  2016-17
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 23 18 2 3 48 16 56 +32
2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 23 13 8 2 45 16 47 +29
3 Arsenal 23 14 5 4 51 25 47 +26
4 Liverpool 23 13 7 3 52 27 46 +25
5 Manchester City 23 13 4 5 47 28 46 +19
6 Manchester United 23 11 9 3 33 21 42 +12
7 Everton 23 10 8 6 34 24 37 +10
8 West Bromwich Albion 23 9 6 8 31 29 33 +2
9 Stoke City 23 7 8 8 29 35 29 -6
10 West Ham United London 23 8 4 11 29 40 28 -11
11 Southampton 23 7 6 10 23 28 27 -5
12 Watford 23 7 6 10 26 39 27 -13
13 Burnley 23 9 2 12 25 33 26 -8
14 Bournemouth 23 7 5 11 32 41 26 -9
15 Middlesbrough 23 4 9 10 19 26 21 -7
16 Leicester City 23 5 6 12 24 38 21 -14
17 Swansea City 23 6 3 14 28 52 21 -24
18 Crystal Palace 23 5 4 14 32 41 19 -9
19 Hull City 23 4 5 14 20 47 17 -27
20 Sunderland 23 4 4 15 20 42 16 -22


Position before match :  3rd
Position after match :  2nd
Position after the weekend :  2nd


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone might think so.


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