Preview: Tottenham Test Next Up For Poyet

Wes Brown celebrates scoring against Spurs in pre-season

After an enthralling game against Mourinho's Chelsea, Sunderland next welcome Villas-Boas' Tottenham to the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland Team News

No new injury worries for Sunderland, with only Carlos Cuellar out injured, which means the team will be at full strength. Kieren Westwood may return but will likely have to settle for a place on the bench.

Gus Poyet has again spoke of his desire to pair Jozy Altidore with Steven Fletcher but we don't expect that to happen just yet, so expect a similar set-up to the Chelsea game. Altidore should keep his place but Adam Johnson and Seb Larsson may come in at the expense of Craig Gardner and Emanuele Giaccherini.

Tottenham Hotspur Team News

This game will come too soon for Sunderland fan favourite Danny Rose and Spurs were dealt a blow near the end of their win against Fulham when Jan Vertonghen went over on his ankle. With Rose still recovering and Vertonghen a huge doubt, Kyle Naughton should come into the side at left back.

Elsewhere, Moussa Dembele is suffering from a hip problem and Emmanuel Adebayor should be out with a groin injury. We may see Villas-Boas shuffle his line-up once again, with Roberto Soldado, Andros Townsend and Nacir Chadli returning.

Predicted Line-ups

Sunderland vs Tottenham - Premier League - 7th December 2013 - Football tactics and formations

Sunderland: Mannone; Bardsley, O'Shea, Brown, Dossena; Ki; Johnson, Larsson, Colback, Borini; Altidore

Tottenham: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Chiriches, Naughton; Sandro, Capoue; Townsend, Paulinho, Chadli; Soldado

Key Match-up: Ki Sung-Yueng vs. Paulinho

Ki has become a vital part of our team very quickly, with him looking irreplaceable in the line-up and teams just starting to stick a man on him to try and prevent him from dictating the game.

He will come up against a class act in Paulinho though and will have to be alert to stop the Brazilian arriving late in the box and picking up loose balls. Ki shouldn't be too closely marked however with Paulinho a move more offensive threat.

Recent Form: WLLWDW

Won: Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Sheriff Tiraspol (Lamela 60, Defoe 67 (pen); Mustafa 72)

Lost: Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Newcastle United (Remy 13)

Lost: Manchester City 6-0 Tottenham Hotspur (Navas 1, 90, OG 34, Aguero 41, 50, Negredo 55)

Won: Tromso 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur (OG 63, Dembele 75)

Draw: Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Manchester United (Walker 18, Sandro 54; Rooney 32, 57 (pen))

Won: Fulham 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur (Dejagah 56; Chiriches 73, Holtby 82)

Last Time Around: Sunderland 1 Tottenham 2, 29/12/2012

A few days after another routine 1-0 home win against Manchester City, Sunderland took a first half lead against Spurs before Carlos Cuellar scored an own goal to equalise straight after half-time and within 6 minutes of the break we were behind as Aaron Lennon finished smartly past Simon Mignolet. After that we never looked like getting back into the game and were thankful to the big Belgian 'keeper for keeping the score respectful.

The Ref: Lee Mason

Lee Mason has officiated us twice already this season, in both the Premier League and Capital One Cup, with both games being against Southampton.

So far this season he has only sent off one player (and that was for two bookable offences), West Ham's Mark Noble in the Londoners game against Everton.

We actually have a good record in game refereed by Mason, winning 9, drawing 5 and losing 6 and although he has sent off 3 Sunderland players in his career (one straight red and two who received two bookings) and not sent off a member of the opposition, he has actually awarded us 7 penalties compared to only 3 for the opposing team.

What The Managers Said

Gus Poyet

We need to recover well.

I think we started very, very well and credit to the players who took their chance and jumped into the team.

If we can do something similar without conceding too many that would be fantastic because we need the three points.

Andre Villas-Boas

At the moment it's going well for us, I think we managed to get two good wins and a good draw against Man United.

So to complete the bounce-back, if we can say that, it would be great to win at Sunderland.

To do that after a midweek Premier League fixture and after a good draw against Man United, that would show we really are alive.

They're not afraid to play big teams. Gus Poyet is a manager who likes his teams to play football, so hopefully it'll be an entertaining game.

Roker Report Predicts

After the high-scoring affair against Chelsea, expect Gus Poyet to try and tighten things up at the back and with Tottenham also having trouble finding the net, this should be a tight game, with little separating the two sides.

With that said, after their win at Craven Cottage in midweek, Spurs may see 4 points from two away games at Fulham and Sunderland as a good haul and that may be to our advantage. We predict that Poyet's men will want the win a little bit more than the away side and will come away with a nervy 1-0 win.

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