Heartbreak. An 83' Robert Huth header goal off of a corner kick sunk Tottenham in a crucial league match on Wednesday, knocking Spurs off the title hunt. The loss left Spurs in 4th place, with West Ham and Manchester United right behind 1 and 2 points respectively. The key will have to be if the Spurs attack can get it going again, as the team has struggled to convert chances into goals of late. But with the whole attack finally healthy and a home match looming against a poor team, the time might be right.
Sunderland arrives to White Hart Lane in 18th place, just one point from safety. The Black Cats' defense has been leaky this season, posting a league worst 41 goals in 21 games (with 31 of those goals on the road). There is a threat in the Sunderland attack though, namely in former Spur Jermain Defoe, who has 9 league goals on the season. Jermain Lens and Adam Johnson are threats out of the midfield, while Yann M'Vila will try to marshal from a holding midfield position.
Can Spurs get a needed 3 points and right the ship? We shall see.
How to Watch
Date/time: Saturday, January 16, 2016, 12:45 p.m. (UK), 7:45 a.m. ET (USA)
Venue: White Hart Lane, London, UK
Official: Mike Dean
TV: NBC Sports Network (USA), BT Sport 1 (UK), TSN 1 (Canada), Fox Sports 4 (Australia), other listings at livesoccertv.com
Streaming: NBCS Live Extra (USA)
Radio: Audio streamed at tottenhamhotspur.com, also BBC Radio London and TalkSport
Welp, the slog in the schedule continues, and the amount that Pochettino rotates remains up in the air. We're guessing not much, with the big change being Dembele returning to the starting lineup. The left backs may get rotated again, or perhaps a different rotation in this dense stretch of matches.
Sadly, nobody foresaw Spurs losing to Leicester losing in such a shock last week, so the table remains the same. The rules remain the same in the Prediction League -- one point for a correct prediction and a bonus point for getting the score correct. Here are the current standings:
|Earl of Shoop||6|
Dustin Menno: Big Sam gonna Big Sam, and JD Trouble is on a huge scoring run, but this is still Sunderland. I’m just going to sit in my corner and pretend that taking away their ability to play DeAndre Yedlin against us will magically discombobulate their improbably cromulent offense. 3-1 Spurs, Defoe scores because #narrative.
Michael Caley: 2-0 Spurs. Lads it's Sunderland.
Skipjack: 1-1 Draw, because why not
brett rainbow: TBD
Ben Daniels: Sunderland are in a good run of form and I keep waiting for Spurs to play up to their obvious ability. Hopefully that happens. 2-1 Spurs.
Luke Zimmerman: Spurs gonna mess around and get a triple-double. Ur, win 3-2. Sports! 3-2 Spurs
Earl of Shoop: As Spurs legend* and vertically-challenged erstwhile Sisqó impersonator Jermain Defoe once said: "When you play with good players, they will always create chances for the forwards to score." Unfortunately for him and for Big Sam, he does not play with good** players; he plays with Lee Cattermole and John O'Shea and Younès Kaboul*** and oh dear lord the state of this team. Spurs, however, certainly do play with good players, and our midfield will create many chances for our forwards to score against this abysmal Sunderland side. Spurs take out their recent frustrations on poor ol' Big Sam in a big, much needed win over Sunderland. Spurs 3-0
**Does not include future versions of DeAndre Yedlin
***and Wes Brown and Stephen Fletcher and oh the humanity
Matt Pachniuk: In a miraculous feat, after 19 corners, 14 shots (11 of which are on goal), and 87% of the possession, Tottenham Hotspur will score in the 14th minute. They will go on to add a second proving that "striking while the iron is hot" is a worthy adage to follow. Spurs 2-0.
Jake Meador: Oy vey. Scared to play a Big Sam team fresh off all the problems we've had with the Lesters. But then again. It's Sunderland. Spurs 2-1 Sunderland in a match we make needlessly complicated but somehow manage to win.
GN Punk: Something something still upset about Wednesday. Please take it out on Big Sam and the walking corpse of Younes Kaboul. 2-1 Spurs
Brian Mechanick: I feel like the Spurs offense breaks out, but I am equally terrified. 3-1 Spurs
Ed F.: It'll be a slog, but I'm calling a 2-1 win for Spurs.
Bryan Ashlock: I'm with Ed. Total slog-fest. 2-1 Spurs.