Premier League: Sunderland play host to Tottenham at the Stadium of Light
Last Updated: 06/12/13 12:12pm
Gus Poyet: Preparing to come up against his old club
Sunderland welcome Tottenham to the Stadium of Light looking to climb off the bottom of the Premier League table.
Sunderland will be encouraged by their display in the 4-3 defeat to Chelsea after running Jose Mourinho's men all the way at the Stadium of Light.
The defeat to Chelsea was Gus Poyet's first at home after helping mastermind wins over Newcastle and Manchester City since replacing Paolo Di Canio.
Sunderland have conceded 14 goals at home, the worst in the Premier League, and Poyet will know he will have to shore up his backline if they are to climb clear of trouble.
Tottenham on the other hand have scored only six goals away from home this term, but still have one of the league's strongest away records having picked up 13 points on their travels.
The midweek victory over Fulham eased the pressure on Andre Villas-Boas and got their top-four challenge back on track.
Tottenham are just three points off fourth spot and they boast a good record against Sunderland having won four and lost none of the last six Premier League meetings.
Paul Merson's prediction
This will be a hard trip for Tottenham on Saturday night. Sunderland scored three goals against Chelsea in midweek and still lost the game, but Gus Poyet will be telling his players that if they keep scoring goals at home every week they'll soon start winning more than they lose.
I thought Tottenham were lucky to come away with a win against Fulham, but they deserve credit for the way they responded to losing 6-0 to Man City. They drew with Man United and won in midweek, so you can't ask for more than that.
Villas-Boas will say they need to win this game because things are so tight at the top of the Premier League, but I've been impressed with Sunderland under Poyet and I think this will be a draw.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1
Jozy Altidore is expected to keep his place in the starting line-up after impressing in midweek against Chelsea.
It means Steven Fletcher is likely to have to content himself with a place on the bench again, while Adam Johnson will be pushing for a recall after appearing as a substitute against Chelsea.
Gus Poyet has no fresh injury concerns from the game, but he will still be without injured goalkeeper Keiren Westwood (shoulder) and defender Carlos Cuellar (hip).
Jan Vertonghen "rolled" his ankle in Wednesday's 2-1 victory at Fulham and manager Andre Villas-Boas has admitted the defender is a doubt for Saturday's match at Sunderland.
Mousa Dembele's ongoing hip complaint ruled him out of the Fulham clash at the last minute, but after resting he could come back into contention.
Full-back Danny Rose has made a tentative return to training, but is not yet ready for a playing comeback, while Christian Eriksen remains sidelined.
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Sunderland v Tottenham
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet claims they need to win three or four of their next six games otherwise Premier League survival is "practically impossible".
Gus Poyet was left frustrated after seeing Sunderland make more costly errors during a 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.
Andre Villas-Boas was delighted to see Tottenham continue their recent recovery with a battling 2-1 win at Sunderland.