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Posted on 9 February 2006  - 12:00

Michael Dawson is aiming to get his own back and keep Anthony Le Tallec at bay at Sunderland on Sunday.

Michael Dawson is aiming to get his own back and keep Anthony Le Tallec at bay at Sunderland on Sunday.

The pair met over two legs in the high-profile European Under-21 Championship play-off semi-final back in November when Le Tallec scored a vital goal for France in the first leg at White Hart Lane. France eventually went through to the finals on aggregate thanks to a late penalty in the second leg.

Turn the clock forward a couple of weeks and Le Tallec struck again at the Lane - this time 'Daws' had the last laugh as we toppled Sunderland 3-2 in the Premiership.

So it's a case of third time lucky for the defender against the striker on loan from Liverpool as we travel to the Stadium of Light.

"I've been very impressed with Le Tallec," said Michael, who first faces a fight to return to the side after being suspended for the win against Charlton.

"The play-off was the first time I’d come up against him and I found that although he’s not the tallest, he’s very good in the air.

"He has very good movement, control and technique.

"With Kevin Kyle back in there as well - a bigger, more physical player - they are a handful up front. We’ll have to be at our best."

Sunderland certainly left their mark at the Lane back in November. Dean Whitehead stunned the majority of the 36,000-plus home crowd by curling home a free-kick after 16 minutes and Le Tallec's goal brought them back into the game again after Mido and Robbie Keane looked to have turned the tide in our favour.

Thankfully, Michael Carrick timed his first Spurs goal to perfection for maximum points.

"They worked their socks off and refused to lay down and die that day," recalled Michael. "And you can be sure they'll do exactly the same when they are at home on Sunday.

"They showed what they are about at the Lane, that was a tough one for us and credit to them, they only have nine points but they fight all the way.

"They will be determined to get that first win and put on a performance for the fans so we’ll have to be professional about it and hopefully come away with the three points. The preparation will be right and no-one here will take it lightly."