Sunderland played their part in an exciting encounter against Chelsea on Wednesday night although a 4-3 reverse leaves them on eight points and five adrift of 17th-placed West Ham ahead of Tottenham’s visit to the Stadium of Light.
Poyet was pleased with the midweek performance against his former club, with the Uruguayan hoping to see the same sort of spirit in front of the Sky Sports cameras as the Black Cats roll their sleeves up ahead of a busy schedule of fixtures.
“I would like to think that, if we play like today and we fight like today and we do it in the way we did, we should be OK by the end of the season,” he told the official Sunderland site.
“Can we do this every week? Can we have that spirit every week? It doesn’t matter against who, it’s up to you, yourself, as a player representing the football club.”
Boylesports bookie offer odds of 15/4 about a home win against a Tottenham team who sit sixth in the Premier League table after coming from behind to win Wednesday’s London derby at Craven Cottage.
Andre Villas-Boas has been exchanging a war of words with certain journalists over what he perceives to be a witch hunt against him, although his Spurs team showed plenty of character against Fulham to claim a maximum haul.
Indeed, aside from a 6-0 mauling at the Etihad Stadium, Tottenham have been pretty strong on the road this season and they are a best price 20/23 to claim victory on Saturday evening, with AVB having a squad bulging with quality players after a summer splurge of £100million plus.
The manager could afford to leave Andros Townsend, Nacer Chadli and Roberto Soldado on the bench at Craven Cottage, with the latter hoping to return on Saturday and make an impact after admitting his goal tally hasn’t been as high as he was expecting come the start of December.
The Spaniard is an 11/2 chance to break the deadlock, although the Sunderland manager was really pleased with the contribution of Jozy Altidore and the American will be hoping to test out the visitors defence, with odds of 12/1 about the striker scoring the first of this encounter.
While we witnessed a goalfest on Wednesday when Chelsea came to town, we could see both teams keep things a good deal tighter on Saturday as Sunderland look to adopt the sort of game plan which saw them beat Manchester City 1-0. Under 2.5 Goals is priced at 4/5 and that looks reasonable value.
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