Spurs v Sunderland - Sunday 16:30, Sky Sports 1
Spurs have had a mixed week, winning comfortably against Stoke before suffering defeat at Wembley in the Champions League. There shouldn’t be too much of a European hangover for Spurs at this stage of the season as they added depth to their squad this summer and haven’t had to travel abroad. They struggled to break down Monaco’s compact defence despite a bright start, but though Sunderland will apply similar tactics they lack the slick passing of a Champions League team. Spurs’ four goal victory over Stoke acts as a better indicator as to how this game could unfold, and with home advantage they should record a comfortable victory.
Sunderland were outclassed by Ronald Koeman’s impressive Everton side and the performances of centre-half pairing Papy Djilobodji and Lamine Kone will have alarmed David Moyes. The partnership had looked reasonably solid the week before where they restricted Southampton to shots from distance, but against Everton there appeared to be little understanding between the two of them. If Sunderland are to stay up this season their survival will have to rest on defensive solidarity. With the exception of Defoe, they lack firepower up front and David Moyes has always built his team upon a solid foundation at the back.
Spurs have only scored one first-half goal this season, just over 40 minutes into their thrashing of Stoke last week. Mauricio Pochettino’s team haven’t exactly come flying out of the blocks and he even questioned the passion of his players after their defeat to Monaco.
Sunderland will look to keep the game as tight as possible and won’t spend much time attacking a mean Spurs defence, that along with Everton has conceded the fewest goals of any team this season, while they also had the joint best defensive record last season. Sunderland should eventually tire as Spurs probe for the opener and as a result we think the value lies in backing Draw/Spurs half-time/full-time at 4.4.