Tottenham – Stoke
Just a week ago everyone was looking at Tottenham as Chelsea’s biggest contender for the Premier League crown, but after losing the derby against Liverpool at the Anfield, now Spurs are 3rd in the standings behind Chelsea and Manchester City. During the week Tottenham were eliminated by Gent in the Europa League as well, so we could say that Mauricio Pochettino’s team had seen some better days.
Even if catching up to Chelsea is too much of a task for Spurs, they still have a lot to play for until the end of the season. Qualification for the Champions League is a must for the Londoners and they are still in a very good position to pursue this goal. But they need to find again their best form, because Tottenham won just two of its last five Premier League games – not good enough for the Spurs, if they want to achieve their goals in the league.
Now Stoke City is coming at the White Hart Lane. Mark Hughes’ team is currently 9th in the standings and they are generally safe for their place in the league. Stoke won its last game against Crystal Palace at home, but now they are up to a lot of harder task with travelling to London to face Tottenham.
Mauricio Pochettino will be without the services the Argentine maestro Erik Lamela, who remains sidelined with an injury. Right now Pochettino is lucky enough to be able to use most of his key players in this crucial stage of the season.
Stoke City’s Mark Hughes can’t rely on the injured Jack Butland, who is still out with a broken ankle. The Swiss star Xherdan Shaqiri is doubtful with a calf injury, while the same could be said about Jonathan Walters and Stephen Ireland. The good news come from the recovery of Geoff Cameron.