Darren Bent returns to White Hart Lane as one of the Premiership’s top scorers with his new club, Sunderland, perhaps with a point to prove. But for Spurs, this game represents more than that. Since Luka Modric was injured against Birmingham, Spurs has lost 4 of the last 7 (yes, 3 of them to the “Big Four” mind) and has in fact not scored in the last 2, which for Spurs is alarming when you consider the attacking talent available.

Not only that, but the pathetic display against the Gooners last week has left a bad taste in the mouth of Spurs’ fans and threatens to derail the now-dimming bright start the team has made to the season.

Sunderland, as I had predicted, has turned out to be a dark horse in the premiership so far this season, and will prove a stern test for a Spurs team bent (sorry) on winning. Spurs will have to play to their strengths (attacking, of course!) and hopefully, get rid of those annoying (and disastrous) individual errors which plagued the last two defeats.

Good news is that Jermain Defoe will be back after suspension to add pace and guile upfront – and should be paired with Peter Crouch, unless Robbie Keane has a clause in his contract preventing him from being dropped. In addition, Aaron Lennon is 50-50 on returning from injury which will be a tremendous boost. Probably, Bentley will start and Lennon will come on in the second half. For the rest of the midfield, Kranjcar must return and Bale should be given a chance too as Jenas and Huddlestone have looked decidedly ordinary of late.

Spurs have a relatively good record against Sunderland (last season’s defeat nothwithstanding) and should shade this contest. But expect Spurs to make it difficult on us fans until the final whistle. As usual.


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