Gareth Bale scored a hat-trick against Aston Villa on Boxing Day. Picture: Reuters/metro.co.uk
Following a shock 1-0 win over English Premier League champions Manchester City on Boxing Day, Sunderland will be looking to claim a second big scalp at the Stadium of Light in four days when it hosts Tottenham on Saturday night (AEST). The Londoners will make the trip north full of confidence themselves however, having lost just one of their past nine matches in all competitions.
A resurgent Sunderland will be bidding for its fourth Premier League wins in four matches when it faces Tottenham following victories over Manchester City, Southampton and Reading in the past three weeks. Manager Martin O’Neill will be particularly pleased with his sides defensive efforts, with competition front runner Manchester United the only team to breach his sides defence since December 8. They will have to be at their best to stop Tottenham however, with Spurs coming off a 4-0 demolition of Aston Villa, in which Gareth Bale scored a hat-trick.
Black Cats midfielders Adam Johnson and Sebastian Larsson overcame niggles to line up against City – with the latter scoring the winner – and should both be eligible for selection after coming through their most recent match unscathed. Skipper Lee Cattermole and defender Wes Brown remain sidelined with long term injuries however, while David Meyler could be in the squad after being recalled from his loan spell at Hull.
For Tottenham, captain Scott Parker could make his first start of the season after coming off the bench in his sides past two matches after recovering from an achilles injury, while Benoit Assou-Ekotto could also return following a prolonged absence. Clint Dempsey is a doubt after missing the past two matches with a groin problem.
The last time that these sides met, at the Stadium of Light on April 7 earlier this year, Sunderland held on for a 0-0 draw against the Londoners.
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