Stoke vs Tottenham – Premier League preview and team news

Tottenham continue their brave attempts to maintain any faint hope of wresting the Premier League title away from Leicester City with a Monday evening trip to an injury-hit Stoke City side, whose European hopes now appear over.

In general play Stoke looked reasonably neat and tidy in their last match at Liverpool, with increasingly influential midfielder Giannelli Imbula showing his off his delicate touch and all-round ball skills, but unfortunately when it came to defending they proved badly lacking and that was ultimately what led them to suffering a heavy defeat. A lack of concentration was their downfall as marking went awry on several occasions despite the return of captain Ryan Shawcross.

With the confidence that Spurs are playing with present, the Potters cannot afford to be as slack here as they look to improve on some patchy recent home performances and edge closer to the objective of beating last season’s club record Premier League points tally of 54. Manager Mark Hughes may think about recalling striker Joselu to his starting XI, having dropped the Spaniard in order to surprisingly include Peter Crouch for the game at Anfield.

After seeing Leicester picked up three points earlier in the day, it was an impressive effort from Tottenham to end their home hoodoo against Manchester United in style, scoring three goals in the space of seven minutes to blow them away and show just how good a side they have become over the course of this season. At present they are playing football worthy of a side challenging at the top of the Premier League, and are stylish and strong in all areas of the pitch.

With so few games remaining it would take an incredible set of results and an impromptu collapse from Leicester to enable Spurs to win the title, but they will keep battling right until it is totally out of reach. This will be a tricky encounter, but one that they will have the confidence and the ideal mentality to win, as although there is an equal amount of style in both sides, Spurs have the greater substance and that might just be what decides the outcome in their favour here.

Marko Arnautovic could be back in contention for Stoke, who are without Erik Pieters as he begins a two-match ban. The injury list comprises Jack Butland, Glen Johnson, Marc Wilson and Jonathan Walters, while Gleen Whelan is doubtful.

Striker Clinton N’Jie is not too far away from making a recovery from a long-term injury, but Spurs will likely name an unchanged line-up.

Last Meeting: There was a sizeable difference between the sides in May 2015 as Stoke coasted to a 3-0 victory over an insipid Spurs, who made costly errors that led to two first half goals. Jan Vertonghen’s mistake allowed Charlie Adam to head home the opener before Steven N’Zonzi capitalised on a mix-up between Hugo Lloris and Eric Dier, while the visitors were reduced to 10 men soon after the break when Vlad Chiriches received his second booking. Mame Biram Diouf completed Stoke’s fine afternoon by netting the third late on.

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