Match Preview, Tottenham vs Stoke City.

Match date & time: Sunday 9th November 2014. 1:30pm GMT KO.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

TV: Not shown live in the UK. Worldwide TV listings HERE.

The Premier League returns to the hallowed pitch of White Hart Lane. Stoke City are the visitors in what is a crucial game for Tottenham Hotspur. If ever a win was needed at White Hart Lane, it’s needed here. After our disappointing form at the Lane, with losses to Newcastle and West Brom the most disappointing, it’s crucial we don’t slip up again to a team that we should be beating, even though we all know that no game in the Premier League is a guarantee, but, it’s the players job to make sure it is going to be our three points. When you’re in a sticky patch, you need a bit of luck, a gritty win or a last minute goal, and we got all of that against Aston Villa last week and hopefully it’s what we need to take a bit of confidence and push further on in the League, and hopefully our performance level can increase and the players who we expect a lot from, step up. Stoke always provide a threat and always try to make themselves hard to beat, especially at the Lane in recent years, but it’s Mauricio Pochettino’s job to set the team out to counter that and get the three points. We have to rely on our more creative players, too, to really unpick the Stoke team which will most likely sit quite deep.

Stoke City sit 13th in the Premier League, with 12 points. 3 wins, 4 losses & 3 draws. A so-so start to the season for Mark Hughes’ men, with a win away to Manchester City the highlight so far. They sit in a position I’m sure they would be happy to be in at the end of the season, but it is still only 3 wins from 10 without facing any teams destined for the top 6 apart from Manchester City, and I think they’ll be left disappointed by their results in certain games. Focusing on the recent history between Stoke and Tottenham, it’s Tottenham that come up trumps, as we are unbeaten against Stoke in our last 5 fixtures, winning 3 and drawing 2, and at White Hart Lane, in our last 6 games we have won 3, drawn 2 and lost just 1 time. But, we all know how hard to breakdown Stoke have been in the past to break down and complacency this time out has no place in the thoughts of Mauricio Pochettino, the players and even the fans. Mark Hughes sets his team out well, and has evolved their style of play into a more offensive, counter attacking unit, that is sometimes not as compact or strong as in previous years, but it holds more of a threat going forward and is much more competent on the ball. There is no doubt this will be a big challenge for Spurs, and not as easy a result to come by as it was last time at White Hart Lane, in which we won 3-0.

The team news for Stoke is that Marco Aurnautovic (wrist) faces a late fitness test ahead of the game, while four of his team mates are ruled out of the game this Sunday. Those include Peter Odemwingie (knee), Robert Huth (calf), Greg Whelan (broken leg) & Dionatan Teixeira (ankle). Just looking at that, you can see some extremely big misses for the Stoke side, most notably Robert Huth who has been a phenomenal partner to Ryan Shawcross over the years in the centre of defence. The main threats for Stoke come up front; former Spur Peter Crouch spearheads the attack, but it’s Mame Biram Diouf who has been a big goal threat for them so far this season with his pace and power as well as composure in front of goal. In midfield, it’s Charlie Adam and Steven N’Zonzi who pull the strings both defensively and offensively, although not being the most cultured players of all time. The offensive midfielder comes from the wing; Chelsea loanee Victor Moses has such incredible pace but great power and in this Stoke side, has proved a thorn in many defences being the main man. Not good enough for Liverpool or for Chelsea, but he’s a great mid-table player and we have to be aware of his talents.

The team news for Tottenham is that it’s only Nabil Bentaleb (ankle) and Kyle Walker (abdominal) that have been ruled out of the game, with Emmanuel Adebayor (hamstring) and Aaron Lennon (hamstring) expected to be completely fine for the test at the Lane. Kyle Naughton, Hugo Lloris & Younes Kaboul all return to the frame after being left at home for the trip to Tripoli, which is of course, very welcome news.

Despite all of the big signings, the international players & worldwide stars in our squad, it’s a boy from Enfield that is gripping the imagination of Tottenham fans. Harry Kane, who has 13 goals in 18 appearances, has been in incredible form, but hasn’t yet pushed his way into the Premier League first 11, which is even more incredible. Kane is Tottenham’s goalscorer at this moment in time and deserves a sustained run in the Premier League side, because he has this confidence that he is going to get a chance and score, and I think Tottenham fans and players have that confidence in him to. A scoring striker is a somewhat rare for teams in this day and age, and now we have seemingly got one, we have to play him! For me, the key to creating chances for Tottenham is Christian Eriksen; he has the vision, technique and ability to create chances and with Harry Kane in front of him, he could well create the chances for him and if he can do that, Harry Kane can finish them. When you have a player of the ilk of Christian Eriksen, he can find gaps in teams you didn’t think were there; he just needs to find his groove once again in his creative ability. Ryan Mason has been our best player in recent games, moving the ball quickly, making tackles and spreading the play where we need it. A breath of fresh air in that midfield that I think was thoroughly needed. In these sort of games at home; players that can find space where there isn’t any, find a pass you didn’t think was on, and score those half chances are absolutely crucial and Mason, Eriksen & Kane can certainly be those players for us at White Hart Lane.

Match stats & facts provided by Opta:

– Tottenham have won six and lost just one of the last nine Barclays Premier League games against Stoke City.

– The Potters have only won one of six trips to White Hart Lane in the Premier League (D2 L3).

– Spurs have lost three of their last four Premier League matches at White Hart Lane (W1).

– Stoke have won none of their last six Premier League away trips to London (D1 L5).

– Tottenham have kept only one clean sheet in their last eight Premier League outings.

– Stoke have lost only one of their last nine Premier League games in November (W4 D4).

– The Potters have scored only two goals in the last 30 minutes of games all season.

– Only four players (Fabregas, Sigurdsson, Tadic and Baines) have assisted more Premier League goals than Erik Lamela (4) this season.

– No player has been caught offside more times than Emmanuel Adebayor this season (10 times, level with Berahino).

– Hugo Lloris has parried more saves back into a dangerous scenario than any other goalkeeper this season (12).

A tough, tight and possibly frustrating, if things don’t go our way, game in prospect at the Lane. But, we are always confident of a win at White Hart Lane, and if we can build on the results away at Aston Villa and Asteras, and improve on the performances, the three points is in sight against a somewhat average Stoke City team. On paper, we should have enough quality to pick Stoke off, but the game is played on grass and we have to go out there and perform. The game isn’t televised in the UK, but you can follow me on Twitter here, @AddictedToSpurs, for all the match updates, videos, photos & more. Let’s get three points!! COYS!!

My predicted/preferred team to face Stoke:
Naughton – Kaboul – Vertonghen – Rose
Capoue – Mason
Eriksen – Soldado – Chadli

Match Review, Stoke City vs Tottenham.

Match: Saturday 26th April 2014.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Britannia Stadium.

Result: Stoke City 0-1 Tottenham.

Goalscorer for Spurs: Danny Rose 33′.

Delighted with the three points. We move just 3 points behind Everton in 5th and 6 points clear of Manchester United in 7th, and we are only 4 points off the top four and Arsenal, which I find quite funny, even if they do have a game in hand. The football we played wasn’t pretty, but we hung on and got the result, which is what you have to do at places like Stoke, a place which has taken points off Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United. Now only 2 games left and I’d love to win both for a great finish to the season.

In the first half, I thought we played some nice football, but we lacked cutting edge and were wasteful with the ball, despite finding spaces in the right areas we were too slow at releasing the ball to the wingers or finding the killer pass to the strikers, and when we did find the wingers the crossing wasn’t hitting the right areas. Breaking the Stoke defence down was something we found difficult throughout the game, but we did find the killer touch on one occasion, Aaron Lennon flicked the ball towards Emmanuel Adebayor wide on the right hand side, who controlled the ball well and poked it past the Stoke defender Marc Muniesa and showed a good turn of pace and then delivered a delightful ball into the danger area for Danny Rose who jumped highest to nod home in the 33rd minute to make it 1-0, his first Premier League goal of the season. The second half was very difficult for us, early on the Potters were awarded a red card for Ryan Shawcross for a late tackle on Danny Rose, his second yellow card, and it was deserved. You’d think that this would help us take the game away from Stoke, but it meant that the home side sat back and made it even more difficult for us to break them down again, despite still having some space in the midfield. We held on in the end for a good three points.

The defensive back 5, including Hugo Lloris played very well. For me, Michael Dawson was man of the match, he returned to the side after a hamstring injury and he played superbly, making crucial tackles and winning headers all game, a great decision from Tim Sherwood to re-include the skipper in the starting 11 ahead of Vlad Chiriches and Zeki Fryers. Alongside Dawson, Younes Kaboul was very solid, the same as Dawson he made some great tackles and looked much more comfortable with an experienced head next to him, he looked much more free to run with the ball and take it out from defence and I think that was his best performance since his return from injury. The full backs Kyle Naughton and the goal scorer Danny Rose also played great games, and hopefully they can continue this form in the last two games of the season. In midfield I though Paulinho played well, but other than him I thought we were very sloppy, even Christian Eriksen wasn’t on form. Upfront, Harry Kane had his first bad game in a Spurs shirt and Emmanuel Adebayor continued his average form of late.

You can’t complain with 3 points! We are 6 points from our record points tally in the Premier League, 72 points, so 2 wins is the aim! Our next game is against West Ham at Upton Park on Saturday 3rd May. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Stoke at the Britannia:
Lloris – 8
Naughton – 7.5
Dawson – 9 – Man of the Match.
Kaboul – 8.5
Rose – 8
Lennon – 5.5
Paulinho – 7
Chadli – 6
Eriksen – 6.5
Kane – 6
Adebayor – 6

Townsend – 6
Sigurdsson – 6
Fryers – 6.

Match highlights from our 1-0 win over Stoke:

Tim Sherwood talks to the press after the Stoke victory:

Match Preview, Stoke City vs Tottenham.

Match date & time: Saturday 26th April 2014. Kick off at 3:00pm.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Britannia Stadium.

TV: Not live on TV in the UK.

We’re in to the last three games of the season! It’s been highly documented that our season has been thoroughly underwhelming, but we’re in a position that means we’re able to gain a lot of pride. We’re battling for 5th place, which isn’t really the glamour battle of the Premier League, but it’s something and something is always good. We have scored many more goals recently and played some very good stuff, and now dare I say it, we’ve hit some very good form! Now to continue it against Stoke.

Our recent form as I say has been good. 3 wins in 5 games, with 1 draw and a loss. Obviously the loss to Liverpool was very disappointing, and the West Brom draw was displeasing, but the wins against Southampton, Sunderland and Fulham were great, with 11 goals scored in those three games and 14 goals scored in our last 5 games. Defensively, it’s been atrocious though, we have not worked as a unit and although it’s not cost us heaps of goals, against better opposition, we look like we would get torn apart, but I guess Sherwood has decided for the Liverpool approach of out scoring the opposition.

Our form against Stoke in recent times has been mediocre or inconsistent, in with the great results there are some real stinkers. Starting with the good results; our last two games against them have been very successful, in our last visit to the Britannia we won 2-1 late last season, Clint Dempsey scoring from range with an instinctive effort, and then Emmanuel Adebayor late on got the goal to win us the game in AVB’s tenure. More recently, at the Lane under Sherwood we put in a complete display, winning 3-0, three goals and a clean sheet in a great performance from the lads, Soldado, Dembele and Lennon got on the scoresheet in that one. Now onto the stinkers (sorry); in our last 5 games with Stoke we’ve been unable to win on 3 occasions 2 draws at home and a loss at the Britannia, so it has always been a difficult time except for the game this season. The good news is our form at the Britannia is good, winning our last 4 Premier League games up in Stoke.

Stoke have had a good season this year, there has been a transitional period during the take over of Mark Hughes, in which he has implemented a much more attractive footballing philosophy compared to Tony Pulis’ effective but route-one style. For the most part, it has worked for Stoke, they sit in 10th place and are safe from relegation, and it’s a good position for Stoke to now push on next season. The Potters have been in outstanding form recently which has made sure that they will stay in the Premier League, in their last 8 games they have won 5, with 2 draws and only 1 loss, and that was to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. In those 8 games they have beaten Arsenal at the Britannia, so we know what to expect! The thing that is in our favour is that Stoke are now safe and don’t have anything to play for, which may lead to the minds of the players wandering, possibly to the beaches of a holiday.

The team news for Stoke is that winger Oussama Assaidi, on loan from Liverpool, is back, along with full back Erik Pieters. Former Spur Matthew Etherington (back) and defender Robert Huth (knee) have been ruled out of the clash at the Britannia. The players to look out for, for Stoke start with striker Peter Odemwingie, who has hit real form after his career majorly stuttered with West Brom and Cardiff, he has 4 goals in 12 appearances for the Potters this season. Another player who has done very well for Stoke is forward Marko Arnautovic, only 4 goals this season but he has 6 assists which is a decent tally in his first season. I really like him as a player and he’s a definite threat from Stoke. In midfield, Charlie Adam and Steven N’Zonzi look to bully the opposition, and it’s up to our midfield to counter their aggression.

The team news for the Tottenham is that Jan Vertonghen (ankle), Etienne Capoue (foot), Erik Lamela (back) and Kyle Walker (pelvis) have been ruled out of the game, with Mousa Dembele (ankle) a doubt. Although, skipper Michael Dawson is available again after an ongoing hamstring injury, which is a big plus for the squad. It’s also good news that Jan Vertonghen and Etienne Capoue have returned to training and are in contention to play in the last 2 games of the season, along with Kyle Walker who is scheduled to return to training next week.

I don’t expect much of a change in terms of the team, although personally I’d replace Nacer Chadli with Sandro in that central midfield role, simply because of the midfield pair that Stoke have, Charlie Adam and Steven N’Zonzi are known for their big challenges and strength, so I think the best way of dealing with it is counteracting it with the strength of Sandro, especially as we are away from home. Alongside Sandro I’d stick with his Brazilian partner Paulinho, who played a good game against Fulham at the Lane, and was sublime in the home leg against Stoke. In defence, I’d replace young Zeki Fryers and place Vlad Chiriches in alongside Kaboul; although he has been shaky in his last two games against Sunderland and West Brom, I think he should be given the chance to redeem himself and rediscover his form that he had earlier in the season. Upfront, there is no doubt that Harry Kane and Emmanuel Adebayor keep their place; Harry has been in great scoring form and I think the time has come for Adebayor to rediscover his.

Match stats provided by Opta.

– All five Barclays Premier League meetings between these sides in Stoke have ended 2-1, with the Potters winning two and losing three.

– Tottenham have won five and lost just one of their last eight Barclays Premier League meetings with the Potters (D2).

– Stoke have been level at half-time in their last seven home matches against top-six teams.

– Tim Sherwood has the best win percentage of any Tottenham manager in the Premier League (58%).

– Mark Hughes’ Stoke have picked up four red cards this season; Hughes has seen his various teams collect 40 red cards in Premier League history (in 305 games).

– Stoke have had Over 2.5 goals in their last five home matches against Spurs.

– Tottenham have the fourth highest points total (30) away from home this season despite having a goal difference of -2 on the road.

– Spurs have conceded a total of 11 goals in their last three Premier League away games.

– Spurs have had both teams scoring in their last five away matches against Stoke.

– Tottenham Hotspur have failed to score in three of their last four away games.

– Stoke have won their last four Premier League home games, three of them ending 1-0 to the Potters. They have never won five home games in a row in the Premier League.

– Stoke have had draw/draw results in their last four draws against top-six teams.

– Only two teams (Liverpool and Palace) are on longer current unbeaten runs than Tottenham (three games).

– Tottenham have come from behind to win a league-high 17 points from losing positions this season while Stoke have the second best total (15).

We want to win our last three games! Starting at the Britannia. Expecting a difficult game, as always, but if we play how I know we can, we’ll have no problems. I’ll be providing match updates from my twitter account @AddictedToSpurs, including goal updates, photos, videos and vines. COYS!!

My predicted/preferred team to take on Stoke at the Britannia:
Naughton – Kaboul – Chiriches – Rose
Lennon – Paulinho – Sandro – Eriksen
Adebayor – Kane.

Tim Sherwood’s press conference prior to our trip to the Britannia: