Tottenham go into today’s match against Sunderland at White Heart Lane knowing that a win is vital to keep their Champions League hopes intact.
This really is Tottenham’s game to lose. Results elsewhere will have a huge effect on how important their result at home is today. They will be hoping against hope that Arsenal stumble up against Newcastle today, if they are to have any chance of usurping their Champions League qualification throne. In all likelihood, it won’t matter how many goals Spurs score, or even if they win or not, if Arsenal come away from St. James’ Park with all three points. Of course, this won’t stop Andre-Villa Boas’ side from putting in a tremendous final day performance for their fans. And, while a Europa League spot may be frowned upon to a certain extent, they cannot be too disappointed with the season they’ve had.
As for Sunderland, they’ve managed to avoid the drop thanks to Arsenal’s emphatic victory over Wigan last week and will be quietly content of having secured top-flight football for yet another season. Their final challenge comes against one of the bests teams in the league and they won’t be expected to be much of a match for Spurs. However, manager, Paolo Di Canio has already stated that it is not in his nature to give away cheap results, so Tottenham can still expect a certain amount of opposition later today.
For Tottenham, they are still without the services of Sandro, Younes Kaboul and William Gallas but are expected to welcome back Benoit Assou-Ekkotto. As for the Black Cats, they will have to do without Stephane Sessegnone and Craig Gardner for their last match of the campaign.
Players to watch
Once again, Gareth Bale will be the man to watch as he looks to end his season on a personal high with a win. As for Sunderland, expect James McClean to provide a threat from set-pieces and corners in an attempt to de-rail Tottenham’s European dream.