Rowell Report: I fear Sunderland will get more capital punishment

Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
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SUNDERLAND make the journey to London to play Tottenham Hotspur this weekend, the first time they have visited the capital since the victory at Crystal Palace back in early November.

A similar result wouldn’t go amiss on Saturday, but Spurs, who are sixth in the table, will be a much more difficult team to beat than Palace were.

Tottenham had a slow start to the season, but new boss Mauricio Pochettino is settling in now, and in their last home game against Chelsea, they were outstanding in a thumping 5-3 victory.

To score five times against any Jose Mourinho team is unheard of, and that game showed the attacking threat Spurs have, and Sunderland will have to be on top of their game defensively to keep them out.

Young striker Harry Kane is the name on everybody’s lips at the moment, and he was the top man in that win against Chelsea, scoring twice and giving John Terry and Gary Cahill a torrid time.

The other player who has impressed me when I have watched Spurs this season is Christian Eriksen, a playmaker with the ability to both create and score, and he will also need close attention.

Sunderland are not in a good run of form at the moment, and will go into this game as underdogs, but that seems to suit them better, and Gus Poyet’s team tactics are usually better suited to playing away from home.

The last time Sunderland played at White Hart Lane, it turned into a nightmare, as Spurs cruised to a 5-1 victory, and relegation looked inevitable.

Things aren’t quite as bad this time around, but with just one point from the last 12 on offer, Sunderland somehow have to find a way to turn that form around.