THE 3-1 victory over Spurs in April last year was arguably our performance of last season, and while our personnel has changed dramatically since then (only four of our side who started that game are likely to start tomorrow), I expect another free-flowing game and, ultimately, a Sunderland victory.
The difference in opposition from last week to this is about as different as they come, clearly chalk and cheese, and I expect the Lads to cope much better against the footballing Cockneys as opposed to the anti-soccer brigade at the Britannia.
Strangely, wheeler dealer Harry Redknapp, as he loves to be called, was quiet in the January transfer window, and Spurs look decidedly light up front for once. Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch have been off form, Roman Pavlyuchenko is out of favour, while Rafael van der Vaart is not in the same vein of form he was in before Christmas. With our formerly tight rearguard creaking of late, it represents the perfect opportunity to claim another clean sheet.
Although they are a week closer to fitness, our long-term injured are still a month away from first-team action, but I am happy John Mensah is back, and I would stick with the Ghanaian at the back, dropping Anton Ferdinand to the bench.
In midfield, I would bring in Elmo, allowing Sulley and Sess to pull the creative strings, setting up an entertaining game. With Tottenham casting an eye to Milan in midweek, and the Lads stung after two disappointing results, we will return to form and claim the three points.
Prediction: Sunderland 2 Spurs 1
To read the rest of the Jury please read tonight’s Sunderland Echo.