Analysis

FLIP’s Picks In-Play: Sunderland vs Spurs

Written by Sam Hopkinson

Sunderland have had a poor start to the season, with a painful defeat to Norwich opening their campaign. Tottenham have fared only a little better—three back to back draws leaves them lying in 16th with just 3 points to their name. The chances have been coming though, and it’s probably just a matter of time before Spurs really get going. FLIP Sports expects a Spurs victory, but who should you be keeping an eye on for your in-play fantasy team while the game is in action?

DEFENDER

Danny Rose

What an up-and-down career Rose has had for Spurs since joining as a teenager. He cemented a place in Tottenham history with this wonderful match winner against despised rivals Arsenal, but then struggled to gain a place in the team and got loaned out to Sunderland. Since then he has developed from an average left winger into a stubborn and admirable left-back. Rose has struggled with a niggling injury so far this season but will be selected if fit thanks to his importance to Pochettino’s team. The Englishman scored a couple of useful goals last season and fans will be hoping he improves on his tally this time out.

MIDFIELDER

Ryan Mason

Talk about surprise success stories—before last season Mason was playing in League One and his career looked to be floundering after successive injuries. Nowadays he’s one of the first names on the team sheet and has been capped by England. Mason has scored just one league goal, and Spurs will need him to step up this season in the absence of a more experienced central midfielder. Despite Tottenham shipping out Paulinho and Etienne Capoue over the summer, Mason’s position is under threat with Eric Dier seemingly a preferred pick as defensive midfielder. FLIP Sports predicts a good season for Mason, however, and he should be under consideration for your teams.

STRIKER

Jermain Defoe

He’s got two goals next to his name already, and even at 32 years of age is still Sunderland’s most potent attacking threat. If Sunderland get a goal against Spurs there’s a pretty good chance it’ll be Defoe doing the scoring. However, the short striker’s limitations have been the same for a number of years—that is, he isn’t great at holding the ball up and doesn’t offer anything in the air. He has a penchant for shooting on sight though, and if he can get a bit of space between Alderweireld and Vertonghen, expect him to test Lloris in goal.

HONOURABLE MENTION

Harry Kane

Kane has had a tough start to the season, his barren run continuing against Everton (despite our pick recommendation, sorry about that!). He scored twice for England over the international break though, and both goals were absolutely fantastic. The only reason he wasn’t all over the back pages was because of Rooney’s record-breaking, but we fully expect him to get off the mark against Sunderland.

About the author

Sam Hopkinson

Sam has attended matches everywhere from Cambodia to Canada, and is a persistent Spurs fan. If he didn't have football, he'd probably turn to a life of crime just to get that exhilarating fix. Superstitious enough to believe that picking a player for his fantasy team spells doom for the poor sod.