Tottenham vs. Sunderland: Complete Premier League Final Day Preview
After months of Premier League battle, Tottenham's season comes down to their final match Sunday with Sunderland.
A win at White Hart Lane coupled with a Newcastle result against Arsenal would give Spurs the fourth-place finish and Champions League berth that they have been aiming for.
Any other result, though, and Tottenham will be spending another year in the Europa League.
In contrast to Spurs' desperation for a win, Sunderland come into Sunday's match with very little to gain.
The Black Cats achieved safety from the relegation race after Wigan's loss at the Emirates Tuesday.
While new manager Paolo di Canio will not be looking for his players to throw in the towel, it wouldn't be surprising to see them check out for this one.
Sunderland will not be with left-back Danny Rose for this one, as the defender is on loan from Tottenham and has now returned to the north London club.
This is bad news for the Black Cats, as Rose has been a key contributor for them this season.
There are even more problems for Sunderland, as Stephane Sessegnon and Craig Gardner are suspended for their red cards while Lee Cattermole and Steven Fletcher are injured.
Spurs will hope that winger Gareth Bale can come through for them once more in this one and give them some hope of getting into the Champions League.
Sunderland, on the other hand, will be relying on goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who has had a relatively good season and will need to have a good match to cope with Bale's threat.
Form and Previous Meetings
Tottenham is unbeaten in its past seven Premier League matches, yet haven't won consecutive matches in that period.
On the other side, Sunderland have gone through a dry spell since the initial boost they experienced from hiring Paolo di Canio, going winless in their past three matches while working their way to safety.
Spurs have a distinct advantage head-to-head as Sunderland haven't won an encounter between the two since 2010.
The earlier meeting between the clubs this season was a memorable one, with Spurs overturning a one-goal halftime deficit away from home with two goals in three minutes.
Potential Starting Lineups
Both sides are relatively unchanged from their last Premier League matches.
The only change comes in Sunderland's defense due to Rose's inability to play in this match.
Instead, the versatile John O'Shea shifts to left-back while Titus Bramble takes his spot in the center.
It's very easy to see a Tottenham win on this one.
Sunderland suddenly have very little to play for and have been struggling over their past few anyway.
Meanwhile, Spurs are desperate for a win and should come out firing on all cylinders.
Whether their performance will be enough to help them reach their goal of Champions League football, though, will be determined in Newcastle.
Tottenham 3-1 Sunderland
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