Tottenham head into this game on the back of their first win in three matches after the Londoners left it late to put down Aston Villa at Villa Park. The Villans had looked set to steal the points but a late smash and grab saw Nacer Chadli and Harry Kane seal the points. Meanwhile, Stoke City head into this game in 13th position and just two points behind their illustrious opponents. Both sides could be doing better but with the league as tight as it is, both sides will be confident of finding some form and climbing the table – although actually finding the form is proving the tricky part for every team bar the top few at the moment.
Spurs currently have just the four injuries and illnesses hampering their preparations with each playing in a different position – better than having four injured from the same position I’m sure. Young centre-back Eric Dier is a doubt through illness whilst Nabil Bentaleb is out with an ankle injury. English winger Aaron Lennon is out with a hamstring strain whilst pacey full-back Kyle Walker remains on the sidelines with a groin problem.
Mark Hughes currently has just the three injuries to contend with before his trip down to White Hart Lane. Veteran centre-back Robert Huth is out with a calf injury whilst Glenn Whelan is out until December with a broken leg. Peter Odemwingie is also out for the long haul with an ACL injury keeping him out until next summer.
- Both Tottenham and Stoke have negative goal differences (-1 and -2) respectively. Only 8 sides in the league have positive goal differences at this stage of the season.
- Despite the reputation that goes before Stoke, Tottenham have out scored the Potters when it comes to set pieces. Spurs have bagged three set piece goals to Stoke’s one.
- The game should be very even with the two sides winning 52% and 53% of their total duels respectively.
- Stoke have created more chances than Spurs this term – 102 vs 97.
- Stoke haven’t experienced two identical back to back results yet this season so expect a loss or a win for Stoke.
Spurs’ Creator-in-Chief has enjoyed a decent start to his season so far with the Danish international scoring three goals already this term compared to his total of seven throughout the whole of last season – and Mauricio Pochettino will be looking to him to find the spark to take Spurs’ season into the next gear. Spurs have been sluggish so far this season and one of those reasons is their lack of finishing power up front – Eriksen is the player who has created the most chances in the Premier League this season without registering an assist, so far it’s 18 without one.
Eriksen has probably been Spurs’ best player for most of the new campaign and his attacking intent is coupled with his decent work rate. The attacker has managed to make eight interceptions already this season. The former Ajax man also averages 1.8 key passes per 90 minutes played which also shows his importance at the sharp end of the field.
Ryan Shawcross has been one of Stoke’s most influential players since the Potters gained Premier League status. The towering centre-back has often seemed at ease in the top tier of English football and has formed an excellent partnership with teammate Robert Huth.
So far this season, it’s been much of the same for Shawcross. The England defender has averaged 2.2 interceptions per game this term – showing his off the ball intelligence in reading the game. Shawcross has also commanded his half well with 70% of his attempted duels being won alongside an average of 1.3 successful tackles per game. Shawcross is also unafraid of summoning his old school tendencies and an average of 8.6 clearances per 90 minutes played is definitely something of note.
Stoke will certainly need Shawcross at his powerful best if they are to leave London with any share of the spoils this weekend.
Harry Kane has been in great goalscoring form for Tottenham recently.
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In years gone by, I was afraid of White Hart Lane. Being a Liverpool supporter it has rarely been a happy hunting ground for us until the last two visits or so. However, this season, Spurs have looked shaky in front of their home support – as they were at times last term under Tim Sherwood. So for this game, I’m going for a 1-1 draw – despite Stoke’s recent run of not having back to back results yet this season.