A week before the North London derby, Spurs face emerging Stoke City at the Lane with the opportunity to start the match against the Arse above them in the table. On paper, of course, those three points should be there for the taking. Last week’s game at Pompey highlighted Spurs defensive frailties – though King was majestic as usual – yet Spurs still got the victory.

So, if nothing else, Harry Redknapp seems to have shaped this Spurs team into winners and despite rather middling performances at times, manages to pull the rabbit out of the hat. Mind you, this is much better than playing well and losing! Stoke will provide a stern test of course but are less dangerous on their travels, thus Spurs must take advantage.

With Defoe suspended, Crouch has the opportunity to impress once again. The key question is again, Robbie Keane. The Irishman has – notwithstanding his four goals against Burnley in the last home game – been poor by his own standards and surely, fit-again Pavlyuchenko must be knocking on the door for inclusion.

Stoke has strengthened its squad rather smartly with Huth, Tuncay & Diao coming in and their impressive start to the season (9th in the table!) is a tribute to manager Tony Pulis’ ability. Therefore, it will not be an easy game by any means but if Spurs can get a grip on the match with their quick passing attacking play and hit Stoke early, it could be a rout. If not, and the ponderous, plodding Spurs turn up, then it will be a close one.


Leave a Reply