Preview: Tottenham Test Up Next For Struggling Sunderland

Laurence Griffiths

Everything you need to know ahead of Sunderland's visit to White Hart Lane on Monday night to take on Spurs.

Sunderland Team News

Sunderland have no new injury concerns, with Steven Fletcher and Keiren Westwood still injured, so Gus Poyet's main concerns will be whether to keep the 5-3-2 formation that frustrated Liverpool for long periods but has seen us lose our last two games and how to fit Adam Johnson into the team considering his performance off the bench against West Ham.

Tottenham Hotspur Team News

Emmanuel Adebayor is in line for a return from injury for Spurs, a timely return for the home side who will be without Roberto Soldado who was stretchered off against Liverpool. With Jan Vertonghan definitely ruled out, Tottenham have been boosted by the availability of Romanian central defender Vlad Chiriches. Paulinho should also be fit in time for the game.

Kyle Walker, Etienne Capoue and Erik Lamela remain on the sidelines through injury.

Predicted Line-ups

Sunderland vs Spurs - Football tactics and formations

Sunderland (4-2-3-1): Mannone; Bardsley, O'Shea, Brown, Alonso; Bridcutt, Cattermole; Johnson, Ki, Borini; Wickham

Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Naughton, Dawson, Kaboul, Rose; Bentaleb, Dembele; Lennon, Eriksen, Chadli; Adebayor

Key Match-up: Emmanuel Adebayor vs. John O'Shea

John O'Shea was beaten in the air far too easily against Andy Carroll for West Ham's opening goal last Monday and will face a much tougher test against the returning Emmanuel Adebayor. Tottenham are sure to target O'Shea as the weak link in our central defensive partnership and if we are to get anything from the game then we will need a real captain's performance from the Irishman.

Recent Form: LLLDWL

Loss: Chelsea 4-0 Tottenham (Lampard 56, Hazard 60 (pen), Ba 88, 89)

Loss: Tottenham 1-3 Benfica (Eriksen 64; Rodrigo 29, Luisao 58, 83)

Loss: Tottenham 0-1 Arsenal (Rosicky 2)

Draw: Benfica 2-2 Tottenham (Garay 34, Lima 90+5 (pen); Chadli 78, 79)

Won: Tottenham 3-2 Southampton (Eriksen 31, 46, Sigurdsson 90+2; Rodriguez 19, Lallana 28)

Loss: Liverpool 4-0 Tottenham (Kaboul 2 (OG), Suarez 25, Coutinho 55, Henderson 75)

Last Time Around: Totteham 1-0 Sunderland - 19/05/2013

Sunderland's last trip to White Hart Lane came on the last day of last season, when Paolo Di Canio's understrength side fell victim to another long range Gareth Bale strike.

Di Canio named six development squad youngsters on the bench, with Seb Larsson and Jack Colback at full back but managed to restrict the home side to few chances but just before injury time at the end of the match, Bale skipped past debutant Adam Mitchell on the right and smashed in a shot past the diving Simon Mignolet from outside the 18-yard-box.

The Ref: Lee Mason

The last time Lee Mason took charge of a Sunderland game was the famous Capital One Cup Semi-Final at Old Trafford and he had a relatively quiet game as we went through on penalties. Mason also refereed our home win over Southampton in the Capital One Cup, as well as the 1-1 draw at Southampton and the home defeat by Monday's opponents Tottenham, both in the Premier League. Despite deciding against sending off John O'Shea and Pablo Osvaldo in the game at St. Mary's for borderline second yellow cards, he has had four quiet games in matches involving Sunderland this season.

Overall this season, he has been in charge of 30 games and has shown 101 yellow cards, five red cards (three straight reds) and awarded four penalties.

What They Said

Gus Poyet

There are plenty of similarities between the two clubs,

We've got 13 or 14 new players, they've got seven or eight and changed managers in the middle of the season.

It was a pleasure to be on the pitch in the same team with Tim. I felt secure with Tim Sherwood in my team.

I think he's got a chance because he knows the club and knows the players better than anyone.

Tim Sherwood

We have to make sure we play with pride and give the great fans that Tottenham have 100 per cent all of the time.

Could I see Gus going into management? I probably could, he was a leader of men.

Could he see me going into management? He'd probably say he could.

It's no surprise that we are both in the hot seat and I think he has done a very good job wherever he has been.

I'm hoping for his sake that Sunderland can remain in the division, but unfortunately for him I don't want it to start on Monday night.

Roker Report Predicts

As poor as we were against West Ham, we have performed much better when up against the better sides in the division and with Tottenham's recent form also taking a nosedive, there is an opportunity to get what will likely to be a rare good result on the road as the season draws to a close.

Although we can pretty much rule our a win, we can see Poyet firing the team up enough to grind out a 1-1 draw with another team who are low on confidence and struggling for goals.

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