Spurs have become used to relying on others to resurrect their faltering title hopes, but this coming weekend, they have more cause than most.
Leicester’s 1-0 win at Southampton lifted them to seven points above Mauricio Pochettino’s side, but at least one of their opponents has revealed he has an added incentive to beat them.
Jermain Defoe spent nine years at Tottenham across two spells before leaving for Toronto FC, and while he did not win any silverware in that time, he is hoping he can still play a role in winning Spurs the league with his current club Southampton.
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Spurs' bid not over yet
The majority of Tottenham fans are now accepting that it will take a monumental collapse from Leicester for them to reach their first title since 1961. However, even if Leicester now need just four wins to guarantee them a first in their entire history, Defoe is not convinced until it is mathematically impossible.
“I’d like win that game”, the 33-year-old told Sunderland’s official website. “And then at the end of the season, we’re safe and Tottenham win the league.”
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Would it be enough?
It is a reasonable prospect, as Defoe has scored 12 league goals this season, but even if his efforts were to thwart Leicester, it is now looking increasingly unlikely that it will be the deciding factor after Leicester carved out such an insurmountable lead.
Of course, if Defoe raises his game against Claudio Ranieri’s champions elect, it will not just be for Spurs’ benefit. Sunderland are now embroiled in a serious relegation battle, particularly after Norwich’s late winner against Newcastle.
It has become incredibly frustrating for Spurs that they are forced to rely on lower-to-mid-table sides to peg back Leicester. In early March, they had the opportunity to take their fate into their own hands, but failed to beat West Ham or Arsenal.
With regards to Sunderland, Spurs can at least be assured that the Black Cats – particularly Defoe – will be giving their all against Leicester. Not all of Leicester’s opponents will have so much to play for.
If Defoe can fulfil his wishes and force the Tigers to drop points, he will be an even bigger hero in Tottenham than he was during his playing days in north London.
Would a Sunderland win be enough to stop Leicester? Have your say in the comments below!