Having lost three of their last five, Tottenham will be looking to get back on track in the chase for the final Europa League ticket when they take on bottom feeders Sunderland in the English Premier League's final match of this week's round on Monday.
Sunderland dropped all the way to last place when Fulham booked their all-important win at Villa Park, but the Black Cats have three matches in hand on the teams above them and could control their own fate if the results start falling their way.
Date: Monday, April 7
Time: 8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ET
Venue: White Hart Lane
TV info and live stream: The match will be broadcast on Sky Sports 1, with mobile coverage available via the Sky Go app.
According to WhoScored.com, the hosts could be facing somewhat of an injury crisis as Jan Vertonghen, Roberto Soldado, Erik Lamela, Etienne Capoue, Paulinho, Kyle Walker and Vlad Chiriches could all miss this match with a series of injuries.
Emmanuel Adebayor is returning to full health and should be able to play on Monday, to the delight of coach Tim Sherwood.
The Tottenham boss has been under a lot of fire in recent weeks for a string of poor results and his handling of the team in the process, and The Football Ramble weren't exactly being subtle when they posted this tweet:
QOTW: How would you explain Spurs manager Tim Sherwood to someone that isn't into football?— The Football Ramble (@FootballRamble) March 31, 2014
Bleacher Report's Thomas Cooper wrote an excellent article in which he compared Sherwood to previous manager Andre Villas-Boas and concluded the club's problems ran deeper than the men at the helm:
In the present, however, Spurs are not too far removed from what they were prior to Christmas.
As Rose indicated, they could do with some stability if they hope to match the progress being made at clubs around them.
Until Spurs settle on clear thinking about the club's direction—establishing it among the players, coaches and decision-makers in the board room—neither Villas-Boas nor Sherwood, or anyone for that matter, are going to be able to implement more than adjustments in their attempts to take this football club genuinely forward.
Save for a miracle-worker of a coach being appointed, it is the reality Spurs face without cohesive planning.
The visitors will be without Keiren Westwood and Steven Fletcher on Monday as they continue their quest to avoid relegation, meaning Connor Wickham will most likely start up front once again for the Black Cats, despite his mediocre showing in the loss to West Ham.
Sunderland are winless since mid-February and have lost six of their last seven, all but dooming the club as the EPL season nears its conclusion. Gus Poyet and his men are in dire need of some good results, but a trip to White Hart Lane is no easy task, even with Spurs struggling.
As shared by the EPL's official Twitter account, the Sunderland coach still believes in his team's chances:
.@SAFCofficial boss Gus Poyet: "We tried everything possible & will do 'til the end. I hope we get some luck as it’s all about winning now."— Premier League (@premierleague) March 31, 2014
With the gap between Sunderland and 17th-placed Norwich currently at seven points, the task at hand seems almost impossible, and the Black Cats will need to start winning to avoid the drop.
Tottenham still have plenty left to play for themselves as the race for the final European spots is far from over and Sherwood tries to convince the board he should be the man leading the team next season, so the Lilywhites will not be gifting the visitors any points in this one.
Final prediction: Tottenham 2-0 Sunderland.