Sunderland away. The last of the difficult fixtures we have. Not a favourite away trip in recent years (although we won there last season). They always seem to dick us or we manage to dick ourselves. If I wish to flirt with negativity then I could (reluctantly) label this game as the very last one we can afford to drop points in. Won't be easy, will be physical. But its probably best we best the Mackems and take all three. Winning a game where perhaps most would admit to be content with a point would set us up perfectly for the remaining ones. It's probably more important to perform and win here than to worry about performing and winning next weekend against Chelsea in the cup semi-final. We're more likely to compete with them at Wembley, whereas today's game against Sunderland is far more pressured.
So in reality away from pre-match predictions, we can't afford to drop any points.
We've got a balanced side again with confident players and the belief is back. Martin O'Neils side is organised and committed. They are blowing hot and cold currently but any self-doubt from us we'll be duly punished for it. Got to be on form. If we win, 3rd is most definitely back on. If we don't then every game left is a cup final (to be hopefully accompanied by an actual cup final in May).
Norwich at home follows in a blink of an eye, so it's not just about mental strength but also physical. Harrry's selection and substitutions will be pivotal in navigating the momentum. And with that cup semi on its way, there's also game-by-game focus required from the players so please no day dreaming Tottenham. Get it done.
Bum <-- Squeaky time.