Spurs v Stoke City: The lowdown on Mark Hughes’ Potters
10:00 08 November 2014
PA Archive/Press Association Images
Charlie Dear runs the rule over Stoke City as they prepare to visit Tottenham for tomorrow’s Premier League clash.
After beating Manchester City at the Etihad at the end of August it’s been a disjointed opening to the season for Stoke City, who have only won two of their following seven Premier League games.
Mark Hughes is still looking for the perfect formula as he continues to add more flair and potency to his squad with the summer arrivals of Mame Biram Diouf and Bojan Krkic.
The Potters have only managed to pick up one win away from the Britannia Stadium in the league form so far and they suffered a disappointing result last weekend. Seemingly in control at home against West Ham, leading 2-0, they lost their lead and ended up with a 2-2 draw.
ONES TO WATCH…
Peter Crouch could well lead the line against his former club this weekend, but Diouf is the more likely candidate.
The Senegalese has scored four goals in 11 games in all competitions – including two in the last two matches – and appears to have found a new lease of life under Hughes following the ex-Manchester United striker’s rejuvenation at Hannover 96 in Germany.
Former Arsenal youngster Steve Sidwell arrived from Fulham on a free transfer in the summer and will be a pivotal man in the Stoke midfield after getting his second start of the season against West Ham last Saturday.
The 31-year-old has forced his way in following an injury to Glenn Whelan, while Geoff Cameron is covering for the crocked ex-Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley.
But the signing that got everyone talking was ex-Barcelona wonderkid Bojan turning up on the Potteries.
The 24-year-old was highly regarded when he burst onto the scene at 17 years of age in 2007, but a string of loan spells at Roma, AC Milan and latterly Ajax saw his burgeoning career plateau. The Spaniard is yet to score in his six appearances for Stoke so far.
Tottenham are unbeaten in their last five games against the Potters, stretching back to December 2011 – and they have won the last three clashes, doing the double over Hughes’ side last season.
The Lilywhites cruised to a 3-0 home win at the Lane in December thanks to a Roberto Soldado penalty and further strikes from Mousa Dembele and Aaron Lennon.
The Lilywhites went on to triumph 1-0 at the Britannia in April, with Danny Rose netting the decisive goal in the 33rd minute before Ryan Shawcross was sent off in the second half.
Only two points separate these two sides, despite the six-place gap.
Stoke will be looking to bounce back from their capitulation against West Ham, and take advantage of the fact that Spurs’ generally ropey league form has been particularly bad after European outings – a 2-2 draw.