Sep 13, 2014 at 3pm UK at ​Stadium of Light
SpursTottenham Hotspur
Johnson (4'), Kane (81' og.)
van Aanholt (85'), Vergini (88'), Wickham (90'), Gomez (93'), Brown (95')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Chadli (2'), Eriksen (48')
Dier (60')

Preview: Sunderland vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Sports Mole previews the Premier League clash between Sunderland and Spurs at the Stadium of Light as the Black Cats go in search of a first win of the season.

Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to bounce back from their first defeat under Mauricio Pochettino when they travel to Sunderland on Saturday afternoon.

Spurs had won all four games under their new manager prior to a 3-0 home loss to Liverpool a fortnight ago that renewed doubts about their ability to hang with the Premier League's best.

The Lillywhites were often found out when they came up against their top-four rivals last term, although they had no problem dispatching of Sunderland, thrashing them 6-1 at White Hart Lane.

Champions League qualification remains the aim for Spurs this season, although an underwhelming summer window in which they failed to improve their attacking options has left them as firm outsiders.

It was after their thrashing by Spurs last season when Black Cats manager Gus Poyet, a former Tottenham player, admitted that his side needed a "miracle" to avoid relegation, but stay up they did.

The Wearsiders won four of their final five games to overturn a six-point deficit and eventually finished 14th in the table, but they are yet to taste victory this term.

A toothless defeat at Queens Park Rangers prior to the international break may have prompted Poyet into the transfer market to improve a squad who had started with decent draws away at West Bromwich Albion and at home to Manchester United.

He failed in his drawn-out pursuit of Fabio Borini, one of the heroes of last season's survival bid, but did bring in two internationals on loan – Ricky Alvarez from Inter Milan and Sebastian Coates from Liverpool.

Neither deadline-day arrival is likely to be thrown in from the start at the Stadium of Light, but changes could be made to an attack which posed the Hoops few problems at Loftus Road.

Will Buckley and Emmanuele Giaccherini are in contention for recalls, with Steven Fletcher expected to be dropped in a switch that will see Connor Wickham restored to a central role.

Tottenham were this week dealt a blow in their hopes of moving into a new stadium in time for the 2017-18 campaign.

A legal fight with a defiant local business means that construction of the site will be delayed and may lead to Spurs playing home games away from White Hart Lane for one season.

Jan Vertonghen could still be at the club when the Northumberland Park venue is finally erected, with his agent having hinted that he will fend off interest from Barcelona to sign a new contract with the club.

Alongside him in defence there could be a debut for Federico Fazio, while Eric Dier should shake off a niggle to continue at right-back, where Kyle Walker is out for the foreseeable future after undergoing surgery on an abdominal problem.

Harry Kane is knocking on the first-team door following two goals for England's Under-21s this week, but Emmanuel Adebayor should continue to lead Tottenham's attack.

However, under pressure from the likes of Paulinho, Mousa Dembele and new French midfielder Benjamin Stambouli, Etienne Capoue may see his place in the team come under threat before long.

Stambouli was Tottenham's only deadline-day signing as they missed out on Danny Welbeck to North London neighbours Arsenal, and could be included on the visiting bench.

Recent form

Sunderland: LWDD

Spurs: LWWWW

Possible starting lineups

Sunderland: Mannone; Vergini, O'Shea, Brown, Van Aanholt; Larsson, Cattermole, Rodwell; Johnson, Buckley, Wickham

Spurs: Lloris; Dier, Fazio, Vertonghen, Rose; Bentaleb, Capoue; Chadli, Eriksen, Lamela; Adebayor

Sports Mole says: 1-1

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Who will win Saturday's match between Sunderland and Spurs at the Stadium of Light?

Jack Rodwell of Sunderland celebrates scoring his goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Manchester United on August 24, 2014
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