Preview: Sunderland Prepare To Tackle Tricky Tottenham

Aaron Lennon's return from injury could be a thorn in our side this weekend.

It might be Good Friday, and you're all probably out or preparing for some debauchery. Or maybe like ourselves here we're eagerly awaiting on tomorrows game, surrounded by delicious chocolate eggs, as our lord and saviour would have wanted.

Anyway, it's about time we got well into that game tomorrow against Harry Redknapp's merry band of cockney's, live in front of the TV cameras, so let's get to it. We've got team news from both sides, betting, music, and much, much more, come get involved...

Sunderland Team News

Having seen off most of the long-term injuries, Martin O'Neill has a quandary over a number of niggles; Lee Cattermole has missed certain training sessions after the admission that he has been playing through the pain of a medial ligament strain in his knee, whilst Fraizer Campbell's knee has been another source of worry - thankfully it's nowhere near as serious this time around.

Matt Kilgallon has returned to training following cramp and all sorts that removed him from the field at the Etihad Stadium, and should partner Michael Turner at the heart of the Sunderland defence. Kieran Richardson is another option for O'Neill having been on the bench last time out, which may enable the excellent Jack Colback to return to midfield. However the pair could well be challenged by Wayne Bridge, who is available again after being ineligible to face his parent club last week.

O'Neill certainly has no obligation to change the side after upstaging Manchester City for almost the game's entirety, but he does have options. Fresh faces may be the tonic for a repeat performance against another side courting Champions League football for next season, especially considering the quick turn around we have for the game against Everton on Monday.

Tottenham Team News

Aaron Lennon made his comeback from injury in the 3-1 win over Swansea City last time out; his cross teeing up Emmanuel Adebayor's second goal of the game. The winger's return may see Spurs return to their early season form, where Lennon and Gareth Bale were the proverbial schoolyard bullies backing teams into a corner with surging forays down the flanks.

That said, Harry does like to tinker, and also opt for a few players out of place, and that could work in our favour. If Rafael Van Der Vaart and Luka Modric are deployed on the wings, with Bale inside, look for them to be cutting inside. In such an instance Kyle Walker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto will have to pick up the slack, giving plenty of room for James McClean and Stephane Sessegnon to exploit.

We were pretty evenly matched at White Hart Lane in December, and things could turn out the same this weekend.

Predicted Lineups

SAFC: Mignolet; Bardsley, Turner, Kilgallon, Colback; Larsson, Cattermole, Gardner, McClean; Sessegnon, Bendtner

THFC: Friedel; Walker, Kaboul, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Parker, Modric, Bale; Van Der Vaart; Adebayor

Classic Encounter

For this week's classic encounter we go back to the 2002/03 season where a goal-a-piece for Tore Andre Flo and Kevin Phillips saw of Tottenham Hotspur in front of over 40,000 fans. Perhaps most incredibly of all, it was an actual win under the stewardship of Howard Wilkinson. A rare treat indeed.

The game was also notable as being the game where Niall Quinn, tearfully announced his retirement from the game at half-time. Certainly, the first of many victories dedicated to the big man.

Get Rich Quick

You might want to actually start and pay attention to these as we're on a bit of a hot-streak at the moment. I think if I recall correctly, we've had winners in the last four weeks. Actually that's probably the kiss of death isn't it? Oh well, on to our betting tips for this week.

  • Nicklas Bendtner has been in fine form of late and 9/1 (with Stan James) looks particularly big for someone with 4 goals in his last 5 games.
  • The last time we beat Tottenham at home was a 3-1 win in 2010. Eerily, that was early April, too. A repeat is best-priced at 28/1 with SkyBet.
  • The win on its own is available at very generous odds (generally 2/1 and bigger) but the margin market often lends itself to a little more value. Sunderland to win by a 1 goal margin is there for the taking at 4/1 with Bet365.

Song For Whoever

On the back of his purple patch in front of goal, Bendtner's well-documented self-confidence may have him reaching for Jay Z and Kanye West's ‘Watch The Throne' album for this one.

This could quite easily bite me on the arse spectacularly, but the tune is decent enough. Conversely, the same could be said for Bale after he showed glimpses of his barnstorming best against the Swans, so this is truly a song for both.

Prediction

Credit to Michael for calling a draw away to City (we still haven't heard the end of it), so I'll try and give the rest of us rabble some credibility.

Spurs have the bit between their teeth as the season draws to a close, having been unbeaten in five and winning the last two, but I think we'll just have enough about us to edge this one on home soil.

Sunderland 1-0 Tottenham

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