SIX players who could decide Sunderland v Spurs

After disappointing 1-0 and 3-0 losses respectively last time out, Sunderland and Tottenham will be desperate to get back on form on Saturday afternoon.

Both sides have shown glimpses of what they can do so far this term, with the Black Cats having drawn with Manchester United, while Spurs demolished QPR to make it maximum points after two games.

Although there are more glamorous fixtures this weekend, this one promises to be enthralling, and here are three players from each side we at FFC Towers think could have a big say at the Stadium of Light.

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Steven Fletcher

Steven Fletcher

Fletcher may be yet to set the world alight, or even muster a spark, this season, but the Scot’s class will eventually come to the fore. The former Wolves and Burnley man has proven through the years to be a capable Premier League marksman, and Gus Poyet’s eagerness to stick by him as he plays himself into form and fitness could be vital this weekend.

Spurs’ defensive frailties were exposed by Liverpool before the international break, and if Fletcher was paying attention he will look to make use of the same space Mario Balotelli and Daniel Sturridge were afforded at White Hart Lane.

Erik Lamela

Erik Lamela

Arguably the worst signing of last season, Lamela is beginning to show what he’s capable of at long last. The classy Argentine has been made an integral part of Mauricio Pochettino’s side, to which he has responded with promising displays in two of Spurs’ opening three fixtures.

Lamela will have more joy against the Black Cats than he did when the Lilywhites hosted Liverpool, and should he keep clear of Lee Cattermole he could well make use of the space between the lines.

Jack Rodwell

Jack Rodwell

He may not be 100% match fit yet, but since his move to Sunderland from Manchester City, Rodwell has started both games in the Black Cats’ XI. The former Evertonian has the ability and reading of the game to run the show from midfield, and has already shown his eye for goal in the red and white shirt.

His ability to last a full 90 is in doubt, but Poyet could get a lot from his injury-prone star for at least two thirds of the clash with Spurs.

Emmanuel Adebayor

Emmanuel Adebayor

With a lack of top class competition, Adebayor will surely lead the line for Spurs once again. The big Togolese forward has only notched one goal in three games, but his ratios at his various English clubs would suggest that more are on the way, which could be bad news for Sunderland.

When on form there are few who can stop for the former Arsenal and Manchester City ace, who will be relishing a duel with John O’Shea and Wes Brown.

Vito Mannone

Vito Mannone

Even with home advantage, it’s likely that Sunderland will face some tough defensive tests. Should O’Shea and Brown be unable to prevent Spurs’ attacking stars from firing at goal, Mannone will be tasked with keeping the Londoners out.

The Italian stopper performed well as the Black Cats ran to the Capital One Cup Final and avoided relegation with a late surge last season, making him a vital cog in Poyet’s side. A few mistakes have been made by the ‘keeper, but his shot-stopping ability is proven.

Nacer Chadli

Nacer Chadli

Another of Spurs’ 2013 flops to have shown signs of promise under Pochettino is Chadli, whose inclusion in an attacking midfield three has brought out his talents. The Belgian notched two goals against QPR and was unlucky not to find the back of the net in the Liverpool clash, and has shown signs of impressive linkup play with Lamela, Adebayor and Christian Eriksen.