Match Preview – Stoke City (H)

Tottenham face Stoke City this weekend in a fixture that could kick-start the club during a difficult spell. With the fixture against Aston Villa hardly inspiring, the three points and turn-around could help to push Tottenham forward, with a home fixture the perfect way to do so.

Last time out

Spurs made it two wins in two (after a home victory against Fulham), after a Danny Rose goal sealed a 1-0 victory at the Britannia Stadium. Tottenham began the game very well indeed. Contrary to recent first half performances, Spurs defended well, pushed forward and countered excellently, with the odd Paulinho surge looking dangerous.

Stats (via BBC Sport)

Spurs have won the last three meetings and are unbeaten in five since a 2-1 defeat at Stoke in December 2011. Stoke’s only win in their last 16 trips to White Hart Lane in all competitions came in October 2009 when Glenn Whelan scored the decisive goal in a Premier League fixture (W1, D5, L10). The Potters have only won at Tottenham in two of their previous 41 attempts.

Spurs have only averaged a point per game over the last eight fixtures despite beating Aston Villa last weekend (W2, D2, L4). Mauricio Pochettino’s side have lost three of their last four home matches in the league, with those defeats all following a Europa League fixture on the Thursday beforehand. Tottenham lost six of their 12 league games following a European tie last season. They have six points fewer than at this stage last season. It’s their worst start to a campaign since 2008, when Juande Ramos was sacked after eight games. Harry Kane has scored eight goals in his last eight appearances for Spurs in all competitions. In total, he has scored 10 goals in 14 matches this season. Nacer Chadli has already matched his tally last season of five goals in all competitions.

Opposition focus

Stoke have only earned one point from three away games since winning at Manchester City in August. The Potters average a goal per game, the fourth worst record in the top flight prior to this weekend’s fixtures. However, they have restricted their Premier League opponents to 26 shots on target so far this season, the lowest tally in the division.

Injury News

Kyle Walker and Nabil Bentaleb remain sidelined for Spurs, whilst for the visitors, Phil Bardsley and Peter Crouch are back in contention after respective suspensions.

Predictions

Starting XI – Lloris, Dier, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Rose, Capoue, Mason, Lamela, Eriksen, Chadli, Kane

Score – Tottenham 2-0 Stoke

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