Match Preview: Tottenham vs Stoke City

Match Preview: Tottenham vs Stoke City

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.

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Team News

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.

Predicted XI’s

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.

Match Review: Tottenham vs KAA Gent (Rant)

Match Review: Tottenham vs KAA Gent (Rant)

To get things started, Dele Alli let us down last night. I’m sick of rival fans claiming that we’re ‘sticking up for him’ after that malicious challenge. It was disgraceful and could’ve easily broken his leg. Temper has always seen to get the better of him, like last season against West Brom when he lashed out against Yacob in the box. He must address this behavior if he wants to reach the greatest heights in his career because it has cost us on so many occasions during his period in Lilywhite. With ten men it was always going to be a challenge, and we almost conquered it. The second half we absolutely dominated, which just shows how poor the opposition was, they’re mid-table in the Belgian league for a reason. During stages of the game I forgot we even had ten men, as greater teams would capitalize and see out the game, were Gent were unable to do this due to the lack of quality they possess.

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Another thing that I saw spreading around Twitter was stick towards Eric Dier. Don’t get me wrong, he’s much better in the midfield but he doesn’t deserve the amount of criticism he’s got these last few weeks. The people that are desperate for Dier to be dropped are the ones pleading Poch to play 3 at the back, how can Poch win? Kevin Wimmer is left footed so he’ll struggle on the right-hand side, and was even replaced by Dier at LCB at Anfield. Why can’t fans just get behind the team like we did under Redknapp, Jol etc? One week our fans are praising players claiming they’re ‘class’ then the next week saying they need to be sold in the summer? It doesn’t add up.

Leading onto this point, nothing frustrates me more when fans scapegoat players of their OWN TEAM. Look at players like Davies, Lamela, Son and Janssen for example. Will have the best performance in a Spurs shirt (rarely) and will go unnoticed. However, one small mistake or we lose, the blame is automatically on them, petty. If Janssen put in that performance that Harry Kane did last night fans would be calling for his head, but he’s ‘One Of Our Own’ so it’s fine… I’m not claiming Janssen should be a starter, but what is he meant to do in 3/4 minutes? We were cruising 3-0 against Fulham last week so why don’t bring him on then and boost his confidence? One of the few things Mauricio needs to work on, fast.

Finally, our transfer policy has to change if we want to be contending for the League, which we’re quite far off at the moment. In January Pochettino said the squads capable to compete in all major competitions, including Europe. So can someone explain to us why we always look in second gear, fatigued and uninterested when we play in UCL/Europa? Poch and Levy need to stop sitting on the fence and get deals done fast. Look at Chelsea with the likes of Kante etc. approached the team, paid the asking price, got the player. Now he’s the one leading the to the league title. On the bright side, we now have all eyes on the FA Cup, where we face Millwall in our last Cup tie at White Hart Lane, and solidify a top-four spot in the league.

Tottenham next welcome Stoke City to White Hart Lane on Sunday, as they look to bounce back from this defeat.

 

 

 

Match Preview: Tottenham vs KAA Gent

Match Preview: Tottenham vs KAA Gent

Tottenham host Belgian side KAA Gent in the second leg of the Europa League. After falling short away in Belgium, we go to Wembley looking to conquer a one-goal deficit. Mauricio Pochettino’s men look to progress to the next round of the tournament, after elaborating many times this is a competition on his mind. Obviously, winning the tournament will give us that prestigious Champions League spot, if we fail to reach the top four come the end of the season.

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Team News

Tottenham are still without Danny Rose after his knock against Sunderland, with ligament damage in his knee. Ben Davies will look to replace the England international and prove his worth to Pochettino, showing he’s worthy of a starting role within the squad. In addition, Erik Lamela still seems to be recovering from his hip injury, which has sidelined the Argentine for the majority of the season. Mauricio added in his previous press conference that Lamela is making progress and is now working on the field, while his recovery will continue to be monitored.

Gent will welcome the presence of top goal scorer Kalifa Coulibaly, as the striker only featured in twenty minutes of action in the first leg. We will expect a more defensive approach as the away side look to protect their one goal margin.

Predicted XI’s

Tottenham- Lloris; Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Wanyama, Dembele; Eriksen, Dele Alli, Son; Kane

KAA Gent- Kalnic; Gigot, Mitrovic, Asare; Foket, Neto, Millicevic, Esiti, Saief; Kubo, Coulibaly

Prediction: Tottenham 2-0 KAA Gent

It won’t be the prettiest, but I think the lads will get the win. Gent will set up defensive and look to compact the midfield, not allowing the likes of Eriksen and Alli space to operate. With the threat of Walker down the right-hand flank, I’m confident we’ll get the opener, then will have the momentum swinging in our favour to go on and win the match comfortably. We need to put the Wembley aspect beside us and give 100%, because if we play like we did in the first leg (or UCL) it will be a walk in the park for the Belgians.