Closer than you’d expect
Of the 104 meeting between these sides, Spurs have won 40, Sunderland 37, with 27 of the contests finishing in a draw.
Tottenham have scored a total of 148 goals against the Black Cats, while Sunderland have netted 139, giving this fixture an average goals to game figure of 2.8.
Lamb dressed as Hutton
Having joined Steve Bruce’s side on loan in the January transfer window, Alan Hutton looked to have played his last competitive game for Spurs - the Juande Ramos signing falling behind Vedran Corluka, another capture from the Spaniard, under Harry Redknapp’s regime.
Nonetheless, the Scotland International has returned to the Lane with increased determination, and his performances of late have seen him become the most consistent of Spurs’ patchwork backline. His goal against Bolton at the weekend was every bit as impressive as a marauding Gareth Bale attack.
Tottenham could again be without the services of Dutch talisman Rafael van der Vaart for Tuesday’s clash with Sunderland, with the former Real Madrid man struggling to shake off his hamstring complaint.
Suffering from a similar problem is Aaron Lennon, which could see Niko Kranjcar given another opportunity on the right, unless Harry Redknapp saw enough if David Bentley’s appearance to warrant a selection.
Spurs will definitely be without long-term absentees Michael Dawson (knee) and Jermain Defoe (ankle), but Ledley King could be fit for the clash at White Hart Lane.
Probable starting XI (4-4-2): Gomes; Hutton, Kaboul, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto; Kranjcar, Huddlestone, Modric, Bale; Crouch, Pavlyuchenko.
Darren Bent is set to miss out on a return to his former club, but after last season’s meeting where he missed two penalties, the striker might not be so disheartened.
As a result, Asamoah Gyan is set to start back-to-back games for the Black Cats after scoring a brace against Stoke City at the weekend, while Titus Bramble is set to return from suspension.
Another striker who won’t feature against Spurs is Frazier Campbell. The forward spent a season on loan at Tottenham in the 2008-09 campaign, but is ruled out for a further six-months with a Cruciate Ligament injury.
Probable starting XI (4-4-1-1): Mignolet; Bardsley, Turner, Bramble, Onuoha; El Mohamady, Cattermole, Henderson, Malbranque; Welbeck; Gyan.
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