With time ticking on their Premier League tenure, Sunderland must collect maximum points from their trip to Tottenham in order to revitalise their waning survival hopes.
Anchored to the bottom rung of the ladder, a seven-point chasm sits between the Black Cats and Norwich in 17th and wins are required immediately.
However, Spurs have proved a dab hand when it comes to slaying sides stuck in the lower echelons and look well priced to add the Wearsiders to their hit list in a low-scoring showdown at White Hart Lane.
They can be backed to do so at a gargantuan 31/10 in a game that consists of fewer than 2.5 goals, which suggests the odds gurus at bwin HQ may have been having an off day when crunching the numbers ahead of this one.
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Tim Sherwood’s charges would sit fourth in a table comprised of results against bottom-half teams.
Unfortunately for all Lilywhites fanatics, the actual Premier League tasks teams with playing top-half outfits too, which is what has cost Spurs their seat at Europe’s top table.
Still, with 11 wins and just nine goals conceded from 15 meetings against those residing in 11th or lower it’d be foolhardy to back against the biggest bullies in the top-flight swiping Sunderland’s lunch money here.
Attacking inefficiency has been at the root of Tottenham’s shortcomings this term, with just 1.18 goals averaged at the Lane.
Only Crystal Palace, Norwich, Cardiff and tonight’s adversaries have scored fewer on the homestead than Spurs’ 19 this season.
Recent results indicate that heavier attacking artillery is not inbound, with only one of their previous five domestic matches in front of their own fans producing more than one home goal.
Sunderland’s net-rustling woes are just as drastic, with the barbershop-striped side averaging less than a goal per trip.
With desperation running wild, Gus Poyet recalled Connor Wickham, a striker with more rentals against his name than The Shawshank Redemption, from a loan spell at Leeds, but that hasn’t improved their fortunes in front of goal.
The Black Cats have returned pointless from four straight away days, beating the opposition goalkeeper just twice in that time.