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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Sunderland v Spurs, 14.04.2001

Last season's game - Sunderland 2 Spurs 1, 31.10.99
This season's home game - Spurs 2 Sunderland 1, 04.11.2000
See the current injury list for all Premier League Teams
All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

This preview was written by Brian Judson

Full Record of Spurs -v- Sunderland

Prem           Pl   W   D   L   For-Ag  Pts
Home            3   3   0   0     7-2    9
Away            2   1   0   1     5-2    3
Total (Prem)    5   4   0   1    12-4   12
Football League
Home (Div 1)   37  14  12  11    57-45  42
Away (Div 1)   37   8  11  18    31-60  29
Total (Div 1)  74  22  23  31    88-105 71
Football League
Home (Div 2)    1   0   0   1     2-3    0
Away (Div 2)    1   1   0   0     2-1    2
Total (Div 2)   2   1   0   1     4-4    2
Total (Prem)    5   4   0   1    12-4   12
Total (Div 1)  74  22  23  31    88-105 71
Total (Div 2)   2   1   0   1     4-4    2
Grand Total    81  27  23  33   104-113 85

Injury-hit Tottenham make their last trip to the North East this season. Steffan Iversen and Sol Campbell have been ruled out for this match, joining Steffan Freund, Darren Anderton and Mauricio Taricco as long-term casualties. Iversen may miss a couple of matches as he has twice been badly concussed in the last few weeks and manager Hoddle thinks Campbell requires a long rest after playing more or less non-stop for the last four years or so.

This will not be a very easy match for Tottenham as Sunderland want to finish as high as they can in order to qualify for Europe. A Champions League berth now looks to be beyond them after their stuttering performances in recent weeks as Kevin Phillips has surprisingly lost form in recent weeks. Last weekend, Phillips looked woebegone and lacking in confidence after seeing shots he would normally bury hitting the woodwork or flying wide of the goal.

Tottenham's season is effectively over as they need to win all of their remaining games to qualify for Europe. A bottom half of the table placing looks like being their destiny. One of Hoddle's priorities has to be to find a way to reduce the number of injuries. Leeds, for example, have had only Michael Bridges absent from their squad as a long-term injury, although Radebe looks like joining him. Questions have to be asked why some clubs do not have the sort of injury problems that have bedevilled Tottenham since the days when Gerry Francis communed with his trainers when interviewed on television and bewailed the increasing number of injured players. One suspects that there has to be something lacking in their fitness since many of the injuries seem to be stress related rather than physical injuries.

Spurs' 2-1 win over Bradford City more or less ensures another season in the Premier League. Manchester City's 4-0 demolition by a certain anonymous North London club last night (Wednesday) suggests that the Sky Blues will be making the drop with the Bantams. This leaves the third place between Derby County, Coventry City and Middlesbrough, although West Ham could still be dragged down if they do not win soon.

I am sure that most supporters will prefer to forget about Europe for next season as our current squad does not have the depth needed to survive in Europe. I would much prefer to see those on the fringe of the first team squad given a chance to show what they can do. I would be quite happy to see Spurs finish 17th in the table yet preparing for next season by giving some of the kids a chance. How can they acquire the confidence to play in the First Team if they are not given a chance to demonstrate what they can do?

Turning to Saturday's match, I think we will be doing quite well if we manage to draw the match. Our record against Sunderland in the North East is not a particularly good one. We have only won 10 matches at either Roker Park or The Stadium of Light out of 40 trips to the North East. Even allowing for Kevin Phillips' recent poor form and the increasing susceptibility of Niall Quinn to injury because of a troublesome back, I cannot visualise Spurs winning up there. I think we will be doing well to avoid a heavier defeat than 2-0.


Cheers, Brian

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