Black Cats take on top four chasers from White Hart Lane.
Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill: “Spurs look as if they can score at any opportunity, but we go in with great heart.”
O’Neill will be without full-back Danny Rose, who is unavailable under the terms of his loan agreement with parent club Spurs, although John O’Shea could return to the back four after missing the Boxing Day victory over Manchester City through illness. O’Neill has recalled midfielder David Meyler from his loan spell at Hull after he completed a one-match ban, but will look at how his squad has recovered following the City game before naming his team.
Sunderland (from): Mignolet, Westwood, Bardsley, Kilgallon, O’Shea, Cuellar, Bramble, Gardner, Colback, McClean, Larsson, Johnson, Vaughan, Sessegnon, Meyler, Saha, Campbell, Wickham, McFadden, Fletcher.
Clint Dempsey and Tom Huddlestone have a chance of returning from their respective groin and knee injuries. Defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto may make his long-awaited comeback from a knee injury while midfielder Scott Parker could also make his first start of the season after coming off the bench in the last three games following his recovery from an Achilles injury. Midfielder Mousa Dembele should be fit despite coming off against Aston Villa with his niggling hip injury, but defender Younes Kaboul (knee) remains out.
Spurs (from): Friedel, Lloris, Gomes, Cudicini, Walker, Naughton, Assou-Ekotto, Gallas, Caulker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Lennon, Sigurdsson, Townsend, Bale, Falque, Carroll, Mason, Livermore, Sandro, Huddlestone, Dembele, Parker, Dempsey, Adebayor, Defoe.
Referee: Martin Atkinson; Assistants: P Kirkup, S Burt; Fourth official: M Dean.
SOURCE: Official Premier League
Bardsley, Cuellar, Kilgallon, O’Shea
Larsson, Gardner, Vaughan, Johnson
Walker, Gallas, Dawson, Vertonghen
Lennon, Sigurdsson, Parker, Bale
Tottenham have only one won of their last seven league games at Sunderland (W1, D3, L3).
The Black Cats failed to score in both of last season’s encounters with Spurs.
The Wearsiders have won three of their last four league games, keeping clean sheets in each of those victories.
They have only gained one point from losing positions this season – the joint-worst record in the division.
Victory would give Sunderland three successive home wins, a feat they last managed in February 2012 following victories against Manchester City, Swansea and Norwich.
Opta statistics show that the Black Cats have blocked more shots (91) than any other Premier League team this term.
Spurs’ 4-0 win at Aston Villa was their biggest victory under Andre Villas-Boas, and their largest winning margin since a 5-0 victory against Newcastle in February.
Gareth Bale has nine league goals this season, equalling his best tally in a Premier League campaign.
Sandro has made 74 interceptions in this season’s Premier League, more than any other player.
SOURCE: BBC Sport
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