Tottenham vs Stoke - Match preview and prediction
Tottenham go into Wednesday night’s home clash against Stoke City with memories fresh in the mind of Saturday’s tragic events, that saw Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba suffer a cardiac arrest on the pitch. The game goes ahead in no small part due to the excellent recovery Muamba is making in recent days.
Redknapp has told his players that with such an experience on Saturday, any players who are not comfortable taking to the field tonight, can sit out the game, although there are no indications that any players have publically requested this. Striker Emmanuel Adebayor (hamstring) and club captain Ledley King (knee) are both major injury worries, with a decision on the two to be made late in the day. Meanwhile Aaron Lennon and Michael Dawson are out with longer term injuries.
Rafael van der Vaart is set to start in midfield, behind an attack of Louis Saha and Adebayor, should the Togo international prove his fitness. Brad Friedel returns in goal after Cudicini played against Bolton in the FA Cup tie at the weekend.
Stoke are without striker Ricardo Fuller who is serving a suspension for his red card picked-up against Chelsea – Jonathan Walters and Peter Crouch facing his former club, should start up front for Tony Pulis’ side.
Tottenham come into the game on the back of three straight defeats, to Arsenal, Manchester United and Everton, and will be looking to get their Champions League chase a boost after dropping ten points from their lead over north-London rivals Arsenal in recent weeks. Three points over the Potters will be vital with tough ties coming up against Chelsea, Swansea and Sunderland in the next few weeks.
Stoke meanwhile are sitting comfortably in mid-table, and have two wins from their last three, with the recent 1-0 defeat to Chelsea their most recent Premier League outing. They will be looking to repeat the feat from earlier in the season when Spurs fell 2-1 at the Brittania, Tottenham’s only defeat in an 18 game league period.
However Spurs manager Redknapp has labelled this game a 'must-win', and with home advantage, they may well be able to get revenge for their defeat earlier in the season, and keep Arsenal off their tail with victory tonight.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Tottenham v Stoke