|DATE||Sunday 26th February 2017|
|VENUE||White Hart Lane|
|STOKE CITY SQUAD||1.
2. Phil BARDSLEY
3. Erik PIETERS
4. Joe ALLEN
5. Marc MUNIESA
6. Glen WHELAN
7. Stephen IRELAND
8. Glen JOHNSON
9. Saido BERAHINO
10. Marko ARNAUTOVIC
12. Wilfried BONY
14. Ibrahim AFFELAY
15. Bruno Martins INDI
16. Charlie ADAM
17. Ryan SHAWCROSS
18. Mame Biram DIOUF
19. Jonathan WALTERS
20. Geoff CAMERON
21. Giannelli IMBULA
22. Xherdan SHAQIRI
24. Shay GIVEN
25. Peter CROUCH
32. Ramadan SOBHI
33. Lee GRANT
35. Daniel BACHMANN
With Thursday's defeat fresh in the minds and legs of the Spurs
players, their reaction will dictate how the rest of this season
pans out. With Chelsea running away with the title, Tottenham
have to keep going to try and secure a Champions Legaue place
through their league finish, as the FA Cup is looking increasingly
difficult to go all the way in, after last week's draw was kind to
most of the other PL teams in it.
Facing a Stoke side who have had a rest would not be the ideal choice of opponents after the disappointment of the Europa League exit. They will always be up for a game against Spurs, who they think they have to prove a point too and Mark Hughes' comments this week will have left Mauricio Pochettino in no doubt that the 4-0 wins at the Brit do not guarantee an easy three points on Sunday.
With the core of the Potters' side being established, the introduction of long time Spurs target Saido Berahino, for what cold be his first start, is again putting in someone with something to prove. Peter Crouch has returned to scoring form lately, with his 100th career Premier League goal and while he might not start, he could easily be brought off the bench to stick it to Spurs. The rest of the side just have the humiliation of two back-to-back 4-0 home defeats to Spurs to galvanise them to earn their team a win.
The defence had looked a little leaky this season, which is strange, as that was their one big strength under Pulis, but Hughes has tried to introduce a new style, which hasn't been consistently successful. Players such as Affelay, Shqiri, Arnautovic and Bony have days when it all clicks, but they haven't happened regularly enough for the Stoke management. The tried and tested stalwarts of Shawcross, Cameron, Bardsley, Whelan, Johnson and Pieters have been the ones who are expected to add a little of the "old" Stoke, while Imbula was a replacement for Nzonzi, who has gone on to better things at Sevilla, leaving his successor to struggle to put in the standard of performance needed over a season. Defender Bruno Martins Indi was one who Tottenham looked at when he was with Feyenoord, but he has arrived at Stoke via Porto and is starting to settle into English football. A strong central defender, his height can be useful for the visitors at both ends of the pitch.
As for Spurs, there will be
some tired legs, but Dele Alli should be fresh after getting sent
off after 39 minutes of the Gent game. Poch won't want to
rotate too much and with a game a week, with the next four at home,
the manager will want to make the most of home advantage. We
need to get back to playing with a high tempo and high intensity,
but with Thursday's efforts behind them, it might be a struggle
against what will be a feisty Stoke side.
|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 2 Stoke City 1|
|LAST SEASON'S MEETING||For a look back at the match report, click here.|
|RESULTS HISTORY||Click here for results, match reports and facts on meetings with Stoke City|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Tottenham are missing long term injury victims Erik Lamela (hip) and Danny Rose (knee).
STOKE CITY TEAM NEWS :
Jonathan Walters misses the trip to White Hart Lane, but Xherdan Shaqiri is fit, along with Geoff Cameron and Saido Berahino might make his first start for the club. Jack Butland's ankle injury has kept him sidelined for months and he will be out until April and a broken leg rules out Stephen Ireland until mid-March. Phil Bardsley took a knock last time out and is doubtful.
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
Sunday 26th February 2017
White Hart Lane
Kick off 13:30
Kane 13m 07s
Kane 31m 20s
Kane 36m 17s
Dele 45m + 0m 22s
Wimmer (foul on Arnautovic) 68
Wanyama (foul on Allen) 90
Whelan (foul on Vertonghen) 19
Adam (foul on Dele) 26
Arnautovic (foul on Dele) 39
|Crowd : 31,864||Weather : Mild, some light drizzle|
|Referee : Jon Moss (Leeds)||Assistant Referees : Mr. E. Smart; Mr. A. Halliday|
|Fourth Official : Paul Tierney|
|Stoke City kicked off and played towards the Paxton Road end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 4 minutes.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||Stoke City :||kit|
Hugo LLORIS (c)
10 Harry KANE ( 7 SON Heung-Min 86)
|Manager : Mauricio Pochettino||Manager : Mark Hughes|
|Sponsor : AIA||Shirt sponsor : Bet365|
|Kit Supplier : Under Armour||Kit Supplier : adidas|
The tough test that Stoke City used to pose to Spurs has become a bit of an anachronism, as Tottenham recorded their third straight 4-0 win over the Potters in as easy a win as you could hope for, all wrapped up before half-time. Harry Kane took full advantage of Stoke's lax play, with a fine display of finishing (and a little bit of assistance from Peter Crouch) to record his third hat-trick of 2017.
With Pochettino putting the same side out that faced Gent on Thursday, they started at a good pace and were on Stoke immediately. They used Walker and Davies in wide positions to stretch the Stoke players out of place in the middle and the visitors kindly obliged by leaving pockets of space behind Kane for Alli and Eriksen to work in. Wanyama was breaking up play and finding time to break into attacking positions, with a cross that saw Martins Indi and Shawcross crudely bundle Kane over as he went to head the ball in the box, while Christian played a low ball across the face of goal with a final touch lacking from a Spurs boot. Stoke actually had the first shot at goal in the game, when Dembele presented the ball to Allen after getting stuck in his own corner of the pitch, but the Welsh midfielder could only hit the side-netting, much to Tottenham's relief.
With Tottenham's first real shot in anger, they took the lead, as Dele put Eriksen into the box, but Shawcross dallied in clearing and the loose ball was drilled low past Grant's right hand as he dived to try and keep it out, but Harry's precise finish nestled in the bottom corner of the net. It was the finish Spurs had been looking for in Thursday, but circumstances conspired to deny him that opportunity.
Glenn Whelan was so late on a tackle on Vertonghen, with his studs raking his ankle, that you wondered whether he would get as much stick as Dele on Thursday, but referee Moss only gave him a yellow card and it was simple to see what was going to happen in the match. Hughes had already primed the referee by saying Dele deserved to be sent off against Gent, which we all know, but why come out and say it before a match unless there was a warning to the official about what might happen. In the 25th minute, sure as eggs are eggs, Charlie Adam slid in behind on Dele, taking his legs from under him and was disgusted to receive a yellow card for his efforts. So 25 minutes gone and your two destroyers in midfield were on a yellow and lacking any sort of pace, the red must have been not too far away.
Spurs continued to take the game to Stoke and Walker hit a volley with both feet off the floor that just cleared the bar, before Stoke launched a decent attack and a low ball in from the left saw Crouch make contact and Hugo stuck out a leg to stop it going in, with Arnautovic unable to reach it at the far post. Walker was enjoying the freedom of the right and a cross beat everyone, before Tottenham won a corner that Eriksen swung in. It was won by Alderweireld, before it was knocked out to the edge of the box, where Jan Vertonghen took a touch and smashed it right footed towards goal, only to see the ball bounce out off the crossbar. The Kane came in from the right to smash a shot just past the post, Walker hit a free-kick that was played to him and forced Grant to touch the ball over. From the corner, the ball bounced about in the area, before dropping to Kane inside the D, where he swung a left foot at the ball as it bounce dup and managed to keep it down well to direct it past Grant's dive as Victor jumped over the ball. 2-0 with just 31 minutes gone and Stoke were already struggling to live with Spurs.
That was certainly true of the clogger Adam, who tripped Dele again, 25 yards form goal and when Eriksen tapped the ball to his right for Kane to shoot, you had the feeling that everything Harry did today would be successful. The ball was going into the wall and if it had beaten them, Grant was behind it, but Peter Crouch got a touch on it, sending the ball the way that Grant had just dived out of and it was 3-0 and game over after 36 minutes.
Arnautovic then fouled Dele for a booking and looked like he might get sent off with a five minute spell where he was chasing everyone looking to take it out on them. When Dele and Davies linked on the left, the cross just evaded Kane at the far post, but when a ball down the right touchline saw Harry nick the ball past Martins Indi, he was then racing away from the lumbering centre-half and when he got to the box, with Dele unmarked on the left, his pass was slid home into the roof of the net with a fourth goal in added time to put the seal on a fine half of football by Spurs after the disappointment of the Europa League exit.
Half-time guest Ray Clemence could hardly have seen a half like it in his time at the club, but the 4-0 score-lines from the last two meetings were coming back to haunt Stoke again. Unfortunately, the second half started worryingly, with Toby Alderweireld going down holding his groin and with no sense in him carrying on, he went off to be replaced by Kevin Wimmer. His central partner Eric Dier played a long straight ball to Dele, making a trademark run into the box, but he couldn't get hold of his shot and it went straight to Grant. Kane almost got a fourth, when Eriksen's cross after a short free-kick almost picked him out, but the striker needed treatment after hitting the post with his knee rather than the ball. Stoke briefly threatened with a free-kick and a couple of corners, which are always their best chance of scoring, but the closest they came was Dele's clearing header, which went up in the air and had to be touched over by Hugo. The Spurs captain had to be alert from the next corner, which went low in at the near post and he was quick to react and knock it away as Allen looked to seize on the loose ball.
With little changing in the Stoke pattern of play they brought on Berahino to replace Crouch and Affelay for Adam. It made little difference, as Dier met Eriksen's free-kick and flicked it goal-wards with his foot, with Grant producing a good reflex save, but the offside flag was being waved. Christian drove forward unchallenged and struck a shot that took a deflection to take the sting out of it and made it easy for Grant, then Jan had to be on his toes, as Arnautovic ran a long way with the ball before Vertonghen blocked his shot. With the Belgian feeling his hamstring, he went off to be replaced by Winks, who busied himself in midfield, giving Stoke not rest.
Wimmer was booked for fouling Arnautovic and from the free-kick Allen was denied by a block from Welsh team-mate Ben Davies. When Spurs got going again, they moved the ball smoothly with Eriksen setting up Winks for a shot that flicked off a defender and went over. Kane then twisted and turned Stoke players, before unleashing a fierce left foot curler from the edge of the 18 yard box and Grant dived full length to his right to push it around the post. Walker was released on the right by Winks and ended his run with a shot that flew over, when he needed to hit the target, followed by Dele's shot taking a block to allow the keeper to take it easily. Walker did better with his next effort, making Grant save low as the ball fizzed across goal, but the keeper did even better when Davies and Dele played a nice one two on the left and Alli took the ball along the line, looking to slide the ball under the keeper, who got a touch to keep it out and there was nobody on hand as the bal ran across the face of goal to apply the finishing touch.
Wanyama picked up a meaningless yellow card in the last minute, fouling Allen and sparking a face-off, but the game was long ago done and dusted, leaving Hughes and his players to fume away, but that should have been at their own inept performance. It was as pathetic a display as you could hope to see and their fans lapped up the fact that we had been knocked out of the Champions League, while not realising the irony in that they are not likely to ever have the chance to cock it up. Hughes is supposed to have changed the club's style after Pulis, but it doesn't seem to be having a great deal of success, with the evidence of today's performance. The selection of Whelan and Adam played into Tottenham's hands, with the terror they imply being nullified by moving the ball around them and they are too opld and too slow to react to that without resorting to foul means.
Long balls to Crouch are all very well if there is a Defoe to play off him, but without any support up front, it wasn't much of a threat and even set-pieces were not attacked with any vigour. It was one of the easiest victories I have seen Spurs have and while it wasn't the best first 45 minutes I have seen, it was certainly the most clinical. We have been missing that and will need it in the run-in to maintain a place in the top four. Winning today, with other teams around us not playing gives us the points in the bag and second place, so the pressure falls back on them to catch us. Will we catch Chelsea ? Unlikely on their current form, but all we can do is keep going and if we get second place come the end of the season, it will be improvement in our league position once more.
Stoke were the first team
with five letters in their name in the Football League when they
formed in 1863, with this being the club's greatest claim to fame.
They dropped "Ramblers" from their name to make their name, quite
literally, in English football. Janet Street-Porter's
great-great grandfather raised a petition against the name change,
but failed to win any support in the Potteries. He was later to
stand as a labour candidate at a by-election, with the same result.
|Match ball sponsors||-|
|Match programme sponsors||-|
|Match shirt sponsors||-|
|What you thought|
|Other scores during this week :|
|West Bromwich Albion||2||Bournemouth||1||Saturday|
|Watford||1||West Ham United London||1||Saturday|
|League Cup Final|
|League Table 2016-17|
|8||West Bromwich Albion||26||11||7||8||36||32||40||+4|
|9||West Ham United London||26||9||6||11||35||44||33||-9|
Position before match : 3rd
Position after match : 2nd
Position after the weekend : 2nd
* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone might think so.
Back to homepage