Tottenham know that the fight for Champions League football is not in their hands as they prepare for their final-day clash with a Sunderland side that have already secured their Premier League safety.
The Lilywhites were seven points ahead of North London rivals Arsenal after defeating them 2-1 at White Hart Lane in early March but a poor run of form in April allowed the Gunners to overtake them and despite an upturn in results in May, with victories coming over Swansea, Manchester City, Southampton and Stoke, Andre Villas-Boas’ men know that even if they end the season with three points against the Black Cats, an Arsenal win at Newcastle will mean it is the Europa League for them once again next season.
Full-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto is struggling with a knee injury so Jan Vertonghen is on stand-by to move to full-back with Steven Caulker in central-defence as it was against Stoke last Sunday.
Elsewhere, Emmanuel Adebayor, who has two goals in his last two matches, looks set to continue up front in place of Jermain Defoe while Younes Kaboul (thigh), William Gallas (calf) and Sandro (knee) are long-term absentees.
Sunderland meanwhile have secured safety under Paolo Di Canio though they a prospective 17th-placed finished will hardly please the board at the Stadium of Light.
Di Canio is still without the suspended Stephane Sessegnon while Steven Fletcher (ankle), Lee Catermole and Wes Brown (both knee) are all absent, leaving Danny Graham with only one more game to break his scoring duck for the club this season.
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