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Premier League

  • 7 December 2013
  • • 17:30
  • • Stadium of Light, Sunderland
  • Referee: L. Mason
  • • Attendance: 37963

Sunderland - Tottenham Preview: Spurs scoring less than a goal per game

The north Londoners need to up their chance conversion but face the Premier League's joint-leakiest defence when they travel to the Stadium of Light on Saturday

Sunderland's porous defence will hope for a rare break when misfiring Tottenham visit them on Saturday.

Spurs have been far from shot-shy this term but a dreadful conversion rate leaves them with just 13 goals from 14 Premier League games so far - although four of those have come in their previous two fixtures.

The Londoners may fancy their chances against a Sunderland side who have conceded two goals per league game on average and shipped four in defeat to Chelsea on Wednesday but Gus Poyet's arrival has made the Stadium of Light a tougher place to visit - their midweek loss the first on home soil for the Uruguayan.

The Black Cats were ultimately undone by a virtuoso display from Eden Hazard, the Belgian scoring two and assisting Frank Lampard's early equaliser after Jozy Altidore had given Sunderland a shock lead.

15/2 Tottenham are 15/2 with Bet365 to beat Sunderland 2-0
Captain John O'Shea was left to rue his side's inability to handle Chelsea's attack and hopes that Sunderland can learn from their disappointment when they face Spurs.

"You can't score three goals against Chelsea and not come away with something – that's the frustrating part," the Irishman told reporters.

"We always analyse the goals and, individually and collectively, we can always do better. That's what we're going to have to do. If you score three goals you generally think you'll get something from the game, so to not do so was disappointing."

Although Spurs' attack remains a concern, they come into the game with one of the league's strongest away records. Only Arsenal have recorded more points on their travels than Andre Villas-Boas's side, who have racked up 13 of their 24 away from White Hart Lane.

Tottenham's latest triumph on the road came in Wednesday's hard-fought 2-1 win at Fulham. Ashkan Dejagah looked to have given Rene Meulensteen a perfect start as Cotagers boss but an organised Spurs were rewarded by Vlad Chiriches' thunderbolt and Lewis Holtby's late winner.

Carlos Cuellar (hip) will be unavailable for Sunderland, who retain concerns over the fitness of goalkeeper Keiren Westwood and Mobido Diakite.

Spurs could enter the game without a recognised left-back as Danny Rose (ankle) is a doubt and Jan Vertonghen is out with a similar issue. Christian Eriksen will miss the best part of December with an ankle injury of his own and Emmanuel Adebayor is sidelined with a knee complaint.

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