The hectic Christmas period continues for new Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood and his squad against Stoke this weekend in the second of two fixtures at White Hart Lane in 4 days.
The fixture provides good reading for Spurs fans with Tottenham having only lost two of their last 38 home league meetings with Stoke City (W28, D8, L2). The Potters having won just three of their 10 previous Premier League meetings with Spurs.
Tottenham’s league record at White Hart Lane this season is the worst among sides in the top half of the table. They have won just three of their nine matches and scored only eight goals. They have only managed to score more than one goal in two of their last 11 home games in the Premier League. After seven clean sheets in their opening 10 league matches, they have not kept one in any of their last eight. This game will take place exactly six years after Tottenham beat Reading 6-4, one of only six Premier League games to see 10 or more goals.
Stoke’s defeat by Newcastle was only their second in nine league matches. They have conceded 15 goals in their last five away matches. Mark Hughes’ side have played 29 Premier League games in London and have scored more than once in only two of them (17 goals in total).
Tottenham have blow after blow ahead of the game with suspensions and injuries. The list includes: Sandro (calf), Kaboul (quad), Townsend (hamstring), Vertonghen (ankle) and Walker (suspended). Doubts for the game include: Defoe (hamstring), Mousa Dembele (ankle) and Aaron Lennon (stomach). Paulinho is able to return after his suspension. As for Stoke, Mark Hughes will be without both Glenn Whelan and Marc Wilson after the pair were both shown a red card during their side’s 5-1 defeat to Newcastle United on Thursday.
I’m predicting a close game. Spurs would normally trounce Stoke however recent home form does not make for good reading, especially when considering our Boxing Day draw with West Brom. I’m hoping that we narrowly come through; the two red cards for Stoke will provide some relief as Whelan and Wilson provide stability for the Potters.
Tottenham Hotspur: WWLLWD
Stoke City: DWDLWL
Predicted team: Lloris, Naughton, Dawson, Chiriches, Rose, Capoue, Sigurdsson(LM), Eriksen, Lamela (RM), Adebayor, Soldado (4-4-2 Diamond)
Predicted score: Tottenham 2-1 Stoke