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Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur: Preview

11 Feb 2011 21:52:50

Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur: Preview

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce will make a late decision on midfielder Jordan Henderson before naming his team to face Tottenham on Saturday evening.

The 20-year-old, who withdrew from England Under-21 duty in midweek with a groin problem, was training on Friday for the first time and is rated at 50-50.

Keeper Craig Gordon should be fit after returning early from the Scotland camp with a knee problem.

Michael Turner and Fraizer Campbell (both knee) have returned to light training, but are still some way from being available, but skipper Lee Cattermole (back), David Meyler and Danny Welbeck (both knee) remain on the casualty list.

Bruce has reassured his players they can realise their international dreams on Wearside.

At the end of a week during which former striker Darren Bent revealed he had been told by England boss Fabio Capello that he had enhanced his chances of winning further caps by moving to Aston Villa, Bruce insisted playing for the Black Cats should not be any bar to success on the bigger stage.

He said: "The big problem we have here is not playing for Sunderland - it's the geography. How many times has Mr Capello been to Sunderland? Or Newcastle, for that matter?

"I can understand that because the fella covers a lot of games, to be fair to him.

"But he will probably look at his schedule and say, 'Well, if I go to London or Manchester or the north-west, I can be at a game in the morning, a game in the afternoon and probably a game at night'.

"If he comes here, then he can't, so I think it is a geography thing.

"I don't think it should be any bar. The problem we have got is Mr Capello hasn't been here for 20 months.

"That causes a bit of a problem because he probably only sees us away from home - and to be fair, for a year or so, we weren't very good."

Tottenham will be without Gareth Bale (back), Rafael van der Vaart (calf) and Luka Modric (appendix).

Peter Crouch did not report for England duty thanks to a back injury he picked up against Bolton and is also a doubt.

Jonathan Woodgate came through a reserve match in midweek and is available but fellow defenders Ledley King (groin) and Younes Kaboul (knee) are unavailable.


DSG

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