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Dec 27 2012

Match Preview: Sunderland AFC v Tottenham Hotspur FC – 29 Dec 2012

Cats v SpursTottenham Hotspur FC are steeped in history and their motto “Audere est Facere” translates as “To dare is to do.”  They have certainly been very good at ‘doing’ having amassed 25 honours and when they won the League Cup in 2008 they became only the second side to win a major trophy in each of the last six decades – an achievement only matched by Manchester United.

With such a record they deserve respect.  It is therefore unfortunate that when anyone mentions Spurs I’m reminded of Dustin Hoffman who once famously referred to the Lilywhites as “Tottenham hot-sperm” on the now defunct Radio 1 Chris Moyles show.

Following Sunderland’s best display of the season against Man City, I’m expecting a crowd in the region of 40,000 who will be hoping for a real cockfight between the Cats and the Cockerels – especially the TV audience watching it live on Sky Sports 2 – and it has the potential to provide ‘edge of the seat’ excitement.  This is somewhat ironic given that Sunderland have recently taped up the seats of those refusing to sit down during games, resulting in 38 fans being suspended from using their season tickets at the Stadium of Light. If you forgive the pun, I think the club should be applauded for taking a stand against fans that refuse to sit down.

By making this ill advised ‘stand’ 38 fans will miss the chance to see a genuine world-class player in Gareth Bale, who following his second half hat-trick earlier in the week prompted Tottenham manager, Andre Villas-Boas, to herald his left winger as ‘one of the best players in the world.’  The Welsh-Wing-Wizard has amassed 13 goals from 26 games which is a fantastic return for a wide-man and will give Sunderland fullbacks, Bardsley or Gardner nightmares in the run up to the game.  This dread may turn into a cold sweat when we consider that Aaron Lennon is also waiting in the wings – sorry, but my puns seem to be getting worse – and a top quality forward like Jermain Defoe looking to add to his ten league goals (14 in all competitions) for the season.

For the Black Cats 2012 has not been a lucky year, but with three wins (and the same number of clean sheets) in the last four games a previously depressing league table has taken on a whole new perspective. I know Santa wears red & white, but perhaps he is a Mackem after all!  However, a new year beckons and my 2013 SAFC resolutions would be:

  1. Buy Danny Rose: The 22-year-old has been arguably the Black Cats’ most accomplished player to date, having joined on a season-long loan from Spurs which will unfortunately make him unavailable for this game.
  2. Goals Fest Fever: With Adam Johnson, Stephane Sessegnon and James McClean coming into form and the midfield seemingly more willing to link up with the attack, this may soon become a reality.
  3. Fortress SoL: The last home game showcased the passion of the crowd and more attacking displays mean more positive results, more noise and more points – simples…
  4. Transfer Window: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” were the words sang by Andy Williams almost 50 years ago as the pop singer lay in anticipation of the January transfer window.  Okay, perhaps not, but Martin O’Neill must exploit the January sales given his limited options in key positions.

The Wearsiders recent form has proved that there are few teams they really need fear at home, so its onwards, upwards and a top 10 position beckons for 2013 and I’m expecting Sunderland to ‘come good’  against Tottenham Hot-sperm with a home win.

Tell us what you think and if you correctly predict the result and you can WIN a day-of-promotion courtesy of The North East HUB.