Spurs need to beat the Black Cats and hope Arsenal slip up against Newcastle, while Paolo Di Canio has been forced to contend with a number of injuries and suspensions
Andre Villas-Boas makes just one change to the side that came from behind to beat Stoke last weekend, with Benoit Assou-Ekotto replacing Steven Caulker and Jan Vertonghen returning to his regular spot in central defence.
Bale is selected in the hole once again, playing just behind Adebayor, who has scored in back-to-back games against Chelsea and Stoke, with Clint Dempsey and Aaron Lennon lining up on the flanks.
Sunderland have been rocked by a number of suspensions, with Stephane Sessegnon and Craig Gardner both ruled out, so Connor Wickham joins Danny Graham in attack.
With Danny Rose ineligible against parent club Tottenham, Jack Colback is picked to start at left-back while Sebastian Larsson - once of Arsenal - fills in at right-back in Gardner's absence.
Tottenham: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Huddlestone, Parker, Dempsey; Bale; Adebayor.
Subs: Friedel, Caulker, Naughton, Dembele, Holtby, Sigurdsson, Defoe.
Sunderland: Mignolet; Larsson, O'Shea, Cuellar, Colback; Johnson, N'Diaye, Vaughan, McClean; Graham, Wickham.
Subs: Westwood, Marrs, Mandron, Knott, Ferguson, Harrison, Mitchell.