Tottenham welcome Stoke City to White Hart Lane as the Lilywhites look to turn around their recent Europa League exit with a win. The last time these two met at the bet365 Stadium, Spurs came out on top with an emphatic 4-0 victory. Heung-Min Son stole the headlines with a tidy brace, which included a rather spectacular strike to kill off the game. Tottenham will be looking to regain second place and keep the pressure up on London rivals Chelsea, whereas Stoke are still sniffing around Europa League territory. A win would take Spurs second in the league, leapfrogging Manchester City (who’d have a game in hand) so if Tottenham wants to solidify a prestigious top four spot, it’s a must win for Pochettino’s men.
Danny Rose will still be sidelined with his injury against Sunderland a few weeks back, damaging ligaments in his knee. It looks a like for like swap as Welsh international Ben Davies will replace the Englishman in the side, till he returns fully fit. The status of Erik Lamela is still unknown as the Argentine is suffering from that hip injury, which has kept him out the side for several months now.
Stoke City keeper Jack Butland is moving closer to full fitness, but will not be ready for when the two sides play. Attackers Xherdan Shaqiri, Jonothan Walters and Sadio Berahino are back in contention to start as the Potters attacking woes look to be fixed. American centre-half Geoff Cameron is still doubtful for Mark Hughes.
Tottenham- Lloris; Walker, Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Dembele, Wanyama; Dele Alli, Kane, Eriksen. (3-4-3)
Stoke- Grant; Bardsley, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters; Whelan, Imbula; Shaqiri, Allen, Arnautovic; Crouch. (4-2-3-1)
Prediction: Tottenham 3-1 Stoke City
Spurs will bounce back after a disappointing exit in the Europa League, scoring three goals past the Potters. Thier defensive record isn’t the greatest and talisman Harry Kane will certainly get a sniff in around goal (when doesn’t he?). Don’t get me wrong, Stoke will make it difficult for us, but I reckon the willpower we possess in attack will be too much to handle. They have a threat going forward with Arnautovic and Shaqiri occupying the flanks, so our defence must be fully prepared. My only worry is Ben Davies’ potential match-up with tricky winger Shaqiri. He lacks pace which is one of Shaqiri’s best attributes, and can cause havoc down the right-hand flank if he’s on his A-game.