Harry Redknapp would have preferred Sunderland to have left the appointment of Martin O’Neill until after this match, especially as the Irishman brought about an immediate change of fortune last weekend with the Black Cats beating Blackburn Rovers.
O’Neill will want to make several changes to his squad in January, although the former Villa boss will have them buzzing with confidence as they head south to try and become the first team to stop Tottenham at White Hart Lane since Manchester City were victorious there in August.
Sunderland are 8/1 (bet365 – £200 free bets) to claim another three points, although a draw would represent progress and the tactics will surely be to pack out the midfield and stop Rafael Van der Vaart and Luka Modric getting time on the ball.
Therefore, the players will be asked to defend for large parts of the match, with the Spurs first team playing no part in Thursday’s 4-0 win at Shamrock Rovers and now chomping at the bit to make amends for that unjust 2-1 defeat at Stoke City last weekend.
Redknapp was seething after that particular match and the officials certainly did them no favours, although the first half performance was not good enough at the Britannia and Tottenham can be backed at 2/5 (Ladbrokes – £50 free betting) to bounce back with a win against their north-east opponents.
Emmanuel Adebayor is proving to be an inspired loan signing and it is amazing that Manchester City couldn’t find a home for the Togolese striker who may yet help Spurs to the title. He is a 9/2 chance to score the first goal which is strangely bigger than the 4/1 about Jermain Defoe and Rafael Van Der Vaart breaking the deadlock.