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Premier League Preview: Tottenham - Sunderland

Tottenham and Sunderland will be looking to put a difficult week behind them when they meet in the Premier League on Monday.

Both sides have been in the headlines since last Sunday — Tottenham after yet another thrashing at the hands of a top-four side, while Sunderland has attracted unwanted attention after fielding an ineligible player earlier in the season.

It emerged in the week the club had selected South Korean striker Ji Dong-Won — now on loan at Augsburg — without having international clearance to do so, resulting in a fine from the Premier League.

The club insisted there was no wrongdoing on its part and that the error was due to a technical fault, but the matter will still come as an unwelcome distraction for Gus Poyet's side, which remains embroiled in the scrap to avoid relegation.

With just one point and three goals from Sunderland's last six top-flight outings, the initial lift given to the club by Poyet's arrival seems to have worn off, and the Uruguayan returns to the club where he spent three years as a player hoping for the win that could kick-start a survival push.

Captain John O'Shea believes it is time for the players to start taking responsibility for their own performances.

"You have to look at yourself and take things on board that you need to do better," he told The Sunderland Echo. "No player wants to get relegated. We're going to do everything we can to stop that. It's about Sunderland and making sure we continue our run of seven successive seasons in the Premier League."

Tottenham, meanwhile, showed further evidence of its defensive culpability when it went down 4-0 at Liverpool on Sunday, which represented another blow to its hopes of qualifying for Europe.

And coach Tim Sherwood, who played alongside Poyet at Spurs, is desperate for a win on Monday to put that Anfield nightmare behind them.

"It's been a difficult week," he said. "We're all upset after Liverpool. We have to put it right and the way to do that is by winning on Monday. We have six games remaining and they're all cup finals. It's important for pride and for the fans. It's important we bounce back."

Sherwood will be boosted by the news that top scorer Emmanuel Adebayor is back in contention after a heel problem, as is defender Vlad Chiriches (back) and Paulinho (conjunctivitis).

Missing for the hosts are Jan Vertonghen (knee), Roberto Soldado (ankle), Kyle Walker (groin) and Erik Lamela (back) while Sunderland is without Kieren Westwood (shoulder), and Steven Fletcher remains doubtful with an ankle problem.

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