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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Sunderland v Spurs

Spurs fans! Find a hotel near the ground here!
This week - last year (Spurs lost at Bolton)
What happened in the Premiership in Match 1 2006-07

See the current injury list for all Premiership Teams

Full League Record against Sunderland

Premier       Pl   W   D   L    For-Ag  Pts
Home           6   6   0   0    16 - 6  18
Away           6   3   1   2    11 - 8  10
Total(Prem)   12   9   1   2    27 -14  28
Football Lge
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 Lge
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)   12   9   1   2    27 -14  28
Total(Div 1)  74  22  23  31    88 -105 71
Total(Div 2)   2   1   0   1     4 - 4   2
Grand Total   88  32  24  34   119-123 101

Last Six results:-


S'derland  2-1   Wolves
S'hampton  1-2   S'derland
S'derland  2-1   QPR
Colchester 3-1   S'derland
S'derland  3-2   Burnley
Luton      0-5   S'derland


Wigan      3-3   Spurs
Spurs      2-2   Arsenal
M'brough   2-3   Spurs
Charlton   0-2   Spurs
Spurs      1-1   Blackburn
Spurs      2-1   Man City

Premiership Final Position 2006-07
Pos           P  W  D  L   F-A  GD Pts
5 Spurs      38 17  9 12  57-54  3  60
Championship Final Position 2006-07
1 S'derland  46 27  7 12  76-47 29  88

The new Premiership season is here, at last. It looks like it could be one to relish for Spurs fans, for whom progress would surely only truly be represented by ascendency to the coveted Champions League places. With the Spurs Board continuing their investment programme, the pressure must be mounting on Martin Jol from day one. Such is the power of the ever-more prestigious Premiership!

The chance is presented here for Spurs to demonstrate progress at the outset, by beating a promoted side and hitting the road running. No-one should pretend that this opener is going to be easy for Spurs, facing a long trip to The Stadium of Light which will be packed to the rafters with expectant locals who will be roaring their boys on to success.

The focus of the press will inevitably fall upon Sunderland manager Roy Keane, who had a marvellous first season as a manager. When he was appointed in late August last year by new Chairman Niall Quinn, Sunderland were bottom of the table, having lost their first four games. Perhaps inspired by the imminent formal announcement of Keane's appointment, the "Black Cats" did win on Bank Holiday Monday, and of course the rest is history as Keane led not just a rise up the table, but went all the way to the top with a great finish to the season.

That was then, and this is now of course. As you would expect, Roy Keane has been busy in the transfer market, notably with the 9 million signing of goalkeeper Craig Gordon this week. Gordon may have to wait for his debut though, and Spurs could face their former number three keeper Marton Fulop, who left us when Ben Alnwick came south. Alnwick is another of Spurs unavailable players. Keane has also spent lavishly on a former toon player Michael Chopra, who didn't exactly stretch us when playing for Cardiff last season. Chopra is possibly best when feeding off a big partner such as Steve Thompson, who he played with at Ninian Park. Maybe that's why Sunderland remain interested in Mido? Keith Chapman has given us a Sunderland perspective of this game, but the other summer signing that Spurs will have to watch will be former Man Utd winger Kieran Richardson. The tussle with Chimbonda will be worth watching.

Spurs would do well to heed the history of recent performances at this ground. In particular, Spurs under-achieved in the last two games, despite Sunderland being relegated with dismal points tallies in both those campaigns.

Last five corresponding games:-

12.02.06 - Sunderland 1 Spurs 1
10.11.02 - Sunderland 2 Spurs 0
19.09.01 - Sunderland 1 Spurs 2
14.04.01 - Sunderland 2 Spurs 3
31.10.99 - Sunderland 2 Spurs 1

Spurs have three left backs unavailable for this game (Lee, Ekotto, Bale), plus longer term absentees Ledley King and Aaron Lennon.The word is that they will start with the same team as against Torino, so that's Rocha at left back, and a debut for only Younes Kaboul of the recent signings, leaving Darren Bent on the bench. The presence of Tom Huddlestone on the bench will give Martin Jol more adventurous options than his likely starting team, as he looks for more solidity rather than flair in a tough opening game. Most of those travelling will hope to see Adel Taarabt in action, but the chances are he'll be held up Martin Jol's sleeve.

I take Spurs to edge it 2-1, with Keane (our Robbie!) and Berbatov on the score-sheet.

Stop Press - Dawson out for this game?

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