Lewis Holtby and Tottenham Hotspur will be hoping for a positive result when they travel to the Stadium of Light on Saturday to take on last-place Sunderland in the Premier League.
Spurs have rebounded from their embarrassing 6-0 defeat to Manchester City two weeks ago to pick up four points over their past two league tilts with Manchester United and Fulham. But on the other side, the Black Cats have failed to capitalize on their momentum, earning just one point since their stunning 1-0 upset win over City on Nov. 10.
Unsurprisingly, sixth-place Tottenham will enter Saturday's showdown as heavy favorites to come away with three points.
Here we'll get you set with everything you need to know ahead of kickoff.
Date: Saturday, December 7, 2013
Start Time: 12:30 p.m. ET, 5:30 p.m. GMT
Where: Stadium of Light, Sunderland, England
Watch: BBC One, Sky Sports
Sunderland: 23.5 percent
Tottenham Hotspur: 50.6 percent
Draw: 25.9 percent
*Odds according to Bloomberg Sports.
Top Storyline: Villas-Boas and Spurs Aiming to Silence Doubters
Spurs head coach Andre Villas-Boas has dealt with his fair share of critics over the past two weeks following Tottenham's dismal performance at Etihad Stadium that resulted in a 6-0 loss to Manchester City. But the Portuguese boss is hoping a win on Saturday will silence the doubters, per ESPN FC's Kevin Palmer:
At the moment it's going well for us, we managed to get two good wins and a good draw against Man United. To complete the bounce-back, if we can say that, it would be great to win at Sunderland.
To do that after a midweek Premier League fixture and after a good draw against Man United, that would show we really are alive.
Holtby's 82nd-minute strike lifted Spurs to a 2-1 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage on Wednesday, while Kyle Walker and Sandro put Tottenham ahead of the defending Premier League champions on two separate occasions last weekend at White Hart Lane.
If Villas-Boas' squad can latch on to three points this weekend, they could potentially pull even with Everton and Liverpool, depending on how the Toffees and Reds fare on Matchday 15.
Spurs will be a popular pick on Saturday, and for obvious reason. Sunderland have been feast or famine at Stadium of Light this season, earning two impressive victories there and losing on the other five occasions by a combined mark of 13-6.
On top of that, Tottenham have been road warriors this season, earning four wins in seven away matches in the Premier League. Only league-leading Arsenal boast as many away victories as Tottenham thus far.
Offensively, both clubs have struggled to score at times in 2013-14, but Spurs have been able to overcome their droughts with stellar defensive play. Therefore, watch for Tottenham to win another close, low-scoring match on Saturday.
Sunderland 1, Tottenham Hotspur 2
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