The Monday night football this week comes from White Hart Line, as Tim Sherwood’s Spurs welcome Guy Poyet’s Sunderland to the Lane.
Neither side have had much to cheer about in recent weeks, with both Spurs and Sunderland both suffering damaging defeats last time out.
In fact, last Sunday’s 4-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield sent Twitter and other social media sites into a frenzy with reports of Tim Sherwood allegedly punching a player and resigning.
Happily, neither of those stories proved to be true and Sherwood will hope that his men can put any off-field troubles behind them and get back to winning ways against Sunderland.
Gus Poyet’s men have also had their own off field drama this week with news that they fielded Ji Dong-won in four games when he was ineligible.
On the pitch it hasn’t been much better, they lost a vital relegation six-pointer to West Ham last Monday night and could very well be rock bottom of the Barclays Premier League by the time they kick off on Monday evening.
Spurs come into the game with 2 wins from their last 5, both coming at home. The 3-2 win over Southampton was an impressive victory given that they were out played for the majority of the game.
Sunderland however have no wins in their last 5 and have only managed 3 league goals in that time.
Their last away victory came on the 1st of February 2014, a 3-0 victory against rivals Newcastle.
Spurs have not lost at home to Sunderland in the league since August 2008.
Sunderland boss Gus Poyet had two spells at Tottenham Hotspur, one as a player where he made 82 league appearances and scored 18 goals and also as Assistant Coach to Juande Ramos.
Spurs have picked up just three fewer points than they had after 32 games in 2011-12, which was their best-ever Premier League haul at this stage.
Sunderland have scored a league-high 46.4% of their Barclays Premier League goals from set pieces this season.
Tottenham come into the game with serious injury problems. They are missing Jan Vertonghen, Roberto Soldado, Erik Lamela, Etienne Capoue and Kyle Walker. Both Paulinho and Emmanuel Adebayor, however, are back in training and should be part of the match day squad. Vlad Chiriches is definitely available after coming through an U21 game earlier in the week.
Sunderland, on the other hand, have very few injuries to contend with, as only Kieran Westwood and Stephen Fletcher are unavailable. Gus Poyet’s main problem is fitting certain players into his starting line up; Adam Johnson started on the bench against West Ham and Poyet admitted that he had made a mistake with that decision.
Although having to play in an unfamiliar wide left position, Christian Eriksen has been the standout summer signing for Spurs. He plays a part in every good thing they do when going forward. He has time on the ball to pick a pass and he is not afraid to take on a shot himself.
With 5 league goals and 4 assists to his name, he is showing everyone the talent he possesses. Just imagine what he could do if played in his favourite No 10 position.
Sung-Yeung Ki is a lovely footballer. When he gets possession time almost seems to stand still. He can pass both short and long and is equally adept at both.
When in either attacking or defensive parts of the field he has passing accuracy of over 85% and that is a very impressive statistic.
He has also chipped in with 3 league goals so far for the Black Cats.
I think this game will make or break Sunderland’s season. Win and they will have a chance of avoiding the drop, lose and it’s as good as over. Unfortunately for them I can only see Spurs running out winners in the end.
I’m going for a comfortable 3-1 victory to Spurs, with Adebayor netting twice.