Sizzling Sunderland to turn over Tottenham
Sunderland v Tottenham - Saturday 12:45 - live on Sky Sports 2
Tottenham face a tough examination of their Champions League prospects as they travel to the North-East to take on a rejuvenated Sunderland team in Saturday's early Premier League kick-off.
In the early months of the season a meeting of the swashbuckling Spurs and the languishing Sunderland would have been seen as a nailed on three points for the men from White Hart Lane. Since Martin O'Neill arrived on Wearside however, his team are transformed. One of the form teams in the Premier League, Sunderland are capable of taking points off anyone, just ask Manchester City.
Spurs may have returned to winning ways against Swansea on Sunday but that victory was only their first in six matches and they are winless in six forays away from White Hart Lane.
Harry's boys, currently tied on 58 points with deadly rivals Arsenal, were looking like genuine title contenders at the beginning of 2012, but a poor run of form in February and March has left them looking over their shoulders at first Arsenal, and now Newcastle and Chelsea. They can be backed to win against Sunderland at 6/5.
A point away at Manchester City would usually be cause for celebration buy after leading 3-1, I'm sure the result was tinged with slight disappointment and regret. It is a sign of the effect that Martin O'Neill has had on the team that a draw at the Etihad is seen as just ok. The Black Cats are priced at 12/5 to turn over Tottenham.
O'Neill is unlikely to make many changes to his eleven but he does have defender Wayne Bridge available after being ineligible for last weekend's game against City. The fixture is likely to be a game too soon for defender John O'Shea (calf), while Lee Cattermole faces a late fitness test on an ongoing knee problem.
Tottenham have no new injury concerns. Ledley King (knee) will have a test on Friday to see if he is fit enough to play while Aaron Lennon (hamstring) may make his first start in a month after coming off the bench against Swansea last week.
The William Hill Match Winner for this clash is for there to be a goal scored from outside the penalty area. With set-piece specialists on both sides, could the goal come from a free-kick? The price on this occurring is 2/1, enhanced from 6/4.
My tip for this match is for over 3.5 goals at 9/4 and Stephane Sessegnon to open the scoring at 8/1.