It would not be a surprise to see Peter Reid and Glenn Hoddle sharing a pre-match drink and debating the peaks and troughs of being a Premiership manager before their sides meet on Wednesday night.
Both head honchos aired their grievances about referees after last weekend's action, as Spurs were undone by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's self-imposed trip and Sunderland were hounded for their over-zealous approach to the game.
But in truth, the Black Cats are currently the second-dirtiest team in the division behind Arsenal. This is not unfamiliar territory for the side that ended last term on top of the disciplinary chart, although last season Sunderland only picked up a solitary booking against Spurs - a plus point for the purists heading to this clash.
The visitors will still have the foul taste of defeat in their mouths after losing to capital rivals Chelsea and will be keen to register a morale-boosting win. In addition they will be buoyed by the fact that they beat the Mackems 3-2 at The Stadium of Light last year, which should give them a psychological edge.
Unfortunately, Hoddle does not have the versatile Gary Doherty to call upon this time. The former Luton striker-cum-defender grabbed a winning brace against Reid's battlers last time out, but is sidelined with injury for this one.
Nevertheless, Tottenham are brimming with attacking options and have already notched twice as many goals as the hosts, despite recording a woeful 31% shooting accuracy.
Sunderland's weakness is highlighted by the fact that they have turned just 6% of their shots into goals, although it's not all doom and gloom as all three strikes have come via the boot of forwards Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn. The deadly duo will be aiming to bring some much-needed cheer to the Sunderland faithful and Phillips is rated at 20/1 to score the first goal in a 2-1 win.
But the home side may have to battle for possession against a team that has proved superior with the ball at their feet. In fact Sunderland's pass completion rate is six points below the average for a Premiership team at this stage of the campaign, so it is vital that they continue to win the ball with avid determination.
The red-and-white striped shirts have won 78% of their tackles this season - four percentage points better than Spurs - and if they can avoid the wrath of the referee, then this competitive edge may see them gain the upper hand and collect all three points.