Tottenham v Sunderland: Spurs to sweat for one-goal win

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A win against Sunderland is the minimum Tottenham need to ensure Champions League qualification and odds of 3/10 about them doing so suggest alternative results are out of the question, however they’re unlikely to romp to the required result.

Since Paul Di Canio arrived at the Stadium Of Light the broad-brush impression of their subsequent trajectory is one of improved organisation and competitiveness. The Black Cats have begun to pick up a few vital points under their new leader, but away from home things haven’t noticeably improved.

There is the exception of their long-awaited 3-0 win at St James’ Park, but aside from that the Black Cats have lost two of their three road games under the Italian. Sunderland have been beaten in five of their last six away outings, with that miserable run including defeats to QPR and Reading as well as the 6-1 Villa Park mauling last time out.

Odds about a Spurs win are so short that they might be expected to inflict a spanking on rivals that travel worse than a barrel of Guiness, but Spurs have won just four Premier League home games by more than a single goal this season.

Their Villa Park capitulation is a notable exception, but Sunderland haven’t been in the habit of getting spanked when they come off second best recently, with five of their last seven losses coming by one goal.

3/1 looks a fine price about the Lilywhites prevailing by the slenderest margin possible especially – as our very own King Of Stats pointed out – when it’s considered Sunderland have lost by a single goal on the last day of every season since they returned to the Premier League in 2007/08.

For more of the King’s last day trends follow this link.

Things will be close, but a ding-dong goal-fest also seems unlikely. Spurs have only scored more than two league goals at White Hart Lane four times this term and Sunderland have mustered more than a single goal just once in their last nine outings.

It took a late Gareth Bale blockbuster to deny Southampton a goalless draw in North London in Spurs’ last home game.

Sunderland had to rely on a similar effort from Phil Barsdley to gain a point against the Saints’ last time out and they’ve lacked a consistent goal-threat since Steven Fletcher’s injury, with only Stephane Sessegnon notching more than once in that period.

With the tricksy Beninese suspended the 4/7 about their being under 3.5 goals in the fixture looks very fair.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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