Date: 16th January 2016 at 7:09am
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A Tottenham side slipping back in the race for the title will be desperate to get back to winning ways against a Sunderland team buoyed by successive wins as they battle against the drop.

Spurs’ midweek home defeat at the hands of Leicester saw them go seven points behind the joint-leaders, and their progress has been halted by two home defeats in their last three games at White Hart Lane.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side go into the match still looking for their first win in any competition in 2016, but they will be cheered by their recent record in this fixture; they have won the last three fixtures between these two teams in North London and haven’t lost to Sunderland at White Hart Lane since 2008.

Harry Kane is two thirds of the way to last season’s total of 21 league goals, and he will be aiming to beat that figure to earn himself a place in England’s squad – and perhaps even the starting XI – for this summer’s European Championships.

Sunderland have become experts at saving themselves from seemingly doomed positions in recent seasons, but they have timed their escape attempt earlier than usual this season.

Consecutive wins against Aston Villa and Swansea in Tuesday’s six-pointer at the Liberty have lifted Sam Allardyce’s side above neighbours Newcastle; the Black Cats are still in the bottom three, but now sit just a single point from safety.

Jermain Defoe returns to the ground where he enjoyed his most prolific spells, and the England striker is in red-hot form having netted five times in his last two games; the 33-year-old is keeping Sunderland afloat, and would love a goal on his old stomping ground.

Team News

Mousa Dembele could start for the hosts having made his comeback in midweek, but fellow midfielder Ryan Mason – who scored the only goal when these two teams met at the Stadium of Light in September – misses out.

For Sunderland, new loan signing Dame N’Doye is not yet available as his work visa has not been processed, whilst the visitors will also be without DeAndre Yedlin, who is unable to face his parent club due to the terms of his loan.

League Position: Tottenham – 4th (36 pts); Sunderland – 18th (18 pts)
Last Meeting: Sunderland 0-1 Tottenham (September 13, 2015)
Form: Tottenham – LWWWDL; Sunderland – LLLLWW
Key Players: Tottenham – Harry Kane; Sunderland – Jermain Defoe
Shoot Says: Tottenham 2-1 Sunderland

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