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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v Sunderland - 23.08.08

Last season's Game - 2-0 to Spurs
This week - last year
What happened in the Premiership in Match 2 2007-08

NEW! - See the current injury list for all Premiership Teams!

Full League record v Sunderland

Full League Record against Sunderland

Premier       Pl   W   D   L    For-Ag  Pts
Home           7   7   0   0    18 - 6  21
Away           7   3   1   3    11 - 9  10
==========================================
Total(Prem)   14  10   1   3    29 -15  31
=========================================
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)   14  10   1   3    29 -15  31
Total(Div 1)  74  22  23  31    88 -105 71
Total(Div 2)   2   1   0   1     4 - 4   2
==========================================
Grand Total   90  33  24  35   121-124 104
==========================================

Last Six Premiership results:-

Spurs

Spurs      1-1   M'brough
Wigan      1-1   Spurs
Spurs      1-1   Bolton
Reading    0-1   Spurs
Spurs      0-2   Liverpool
M'brough   2-1   Spurs

Sunderland

S'derland  1-2   Man City
Newcastle  2-0   S'derland
S'derland  3-2   M'brough
Bolton     2-0   S'derland
S'derland  0-1   Arsenal
S'derland  0-1   Liverpool

Pos           P  W  D  L  F-A  GD  Pts
14 Spurs      1  0  0  1  1-2  -1   0
16 S'derland  1  0  0  1  0-1  -1   0 
For most football fans, the season starts for real with the first home game. Thus, despite the loss at Middlesbrough last week, there remains a great sense of anticipation amongst Spurs fans for this fixture.

Sadly, that anticipation has to be mixed with the still unresolved Berbatov transfer saga, and the worry that the transfer window will once again be slammed in Spurs' faces without enough re-inforcement of what is currently a small squad for this season's programme.

Sunderland have until now been Premier League fodder for Spurs at The Lane, with a 100% record for the home side. However, statistics do not tell the whole story, as Spurs have typically made heavy going of achieving the victory. The 3-2 win on December 3rd 2005 in Sunderland's last relegation season was a case in point, as Spurs went behind to Whitehead's 16th minute goal, equalised through Mido, went ahead through Keane, only to be stemmed by Le Tallec's 60th minute equaliser. It was only a rare Michael Carrick goal that gave us the spoils.

Last season Robbie Keane was the hero of the day as he scored his 100th competitive goal in Spurs' colours during a 2-0 victory. We saw the first and last cartwheel celebration of the season that day, and thought the day would come this season when Robbie would score his 100th Premier League goal for Spurs. Sadly that is not to be, as Robbie was one of 7 Carling Cup medal winners to have left the club this summer. Three of those went to Sunderland of course, and Pascal Chimbonda, Teemu Tainio, and Steed Malbranque join another former Spur Andy Reid. No doubt they will all hope to taunt us on Saturday. However, Tainio is doubtful. He was withdrawn in last Saturday's game with a knock, and sent home from International duty. Nothing changes with Tainio, does it?

Liverpool made hard work of beating the "Mackems", and there is no doubt that Roy Keane has significantly strengthened his squad, with the acquisition of "Gobber" Diouf from Bolton. Sunderland will miss striker Kenwyne Jones, who was injured on International duty in the summer (playing for Trinidad against England), but they do have Michael Chopra, who scored that added time winner in last season's opener at The Stadium of Light.

Incidentally, former Spurs goalkeeper Marton Fulop is still on the books, having spent the best part of last season on loan at Leicester and Stoke. Scottish International Graig Gordon will be between the sticks as usual on Saturday.

The recent ex-Spurs players spent the best part of the pre-season with Spurs, and they will know a lot about Juande Ramos's methods and tactics. Sunderland will be well-prepared.

The defeat at The Riverside was a serious knock, and many of the squad have been away on International duty this week. Therefore, Ramos will have had little time to put things to rights. No return date for right back Alan Hutton is known, and whether or not Ledley King will play any week is guesswork outside the portals of Spurs Lodge.

If he is still a Spur, Dimitar Berbatov must start surely, but even with him and home advantage, I have a nasty feeling that Spurs will not manage a win, much as it will be needed. I'll predict a 1-1 draw, full of gloom, despondency and jeers from the home support. I would of course love Spurs to "Mackem 'ave it"

Did you know? (Thanks to Declan Mulcahy for these snippets)

1. Spurs' record attendance at White Hart Lane happened in an FA Cup game versus Sunderland. The attendance was 75,038 and the game took place on March 5, 1938 in the sixth round. Sunderland won 1-0 with a goal in the second half from the great Raich Carter. At the time Sunderland were in Division 1 and were the cup holders. Spurs were in Division 2.

2. Spurs' last home defeat to Sunderland in the league took place just over thirty years ago on Saturday 22 April 1978 when we lost 3-2. This was the only season since 1950 that Spurs spent out of the top division.

3. Until the mid 1980s only one player had played for both Spurs and Sunderland. This was right winger John Curtis in the first decade of the twentieth century. Between the mid 1980s and the mid 2000s there were a further four including Chris Waddle, Paul Stewart and Bobby Mimms. In the last few seasons there have been a further six - Marton Fulop, Ben Alnwick, Andy Reid, Teemu Tanio, Pascal Chimbonda and Steed Malbranque.

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