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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Stoke v Spurs - 20.03.10

Last season's corresponding game - Stoke 2 Spurs 1
This season's home game - Spurs 0 Stoke 1
This week - last year
What happened in the Premiership in Match 31 2008-09

See the current injury list for all Premiership Teams
All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

Full League Record v Stoke City

Premier       Pl  W   D   L   F - A  Pts
Home           2  1   0   1   3 - 2   3
Away           1  0   0   1   1 - 2   0
=======================================
Total (Prem)   3  1   0   2   4 - 4   3
=======================================
Football Lge
Home (Div One) 26 20  5   1  56 -19  49
Away (Div One) 26  7  8  11  26 -34  24
=======================================
Total(Div 1)   52 27 13  12  82 -53  73
=======================================
Football Lge
Home(Div Two)   7  6  1   0  18 - 7  13
Away(div Two)   7  2  1   4   9 -11   5   
=======================================
Total(Div 2)   14  8  2   4  27 -18  18
=======================================
Total (Prem)   3  1   0   2   4 - 4   3
Total (Div1)  52 27  13  12  82 -53  73
Total (Div2)  14  8   2   4  27 -18  18
=======================================
Grand Total   69 36  15  18 113 -75  94   
=======================================

Last Six Premiership results:-

Stoke

Wigan      1-1   Stoke
Stoke      1-1   Man City
P'tsmouth  1-2   Stoke
Stoke      1-3   Arsenal
Burnley    1-1   Stoke
Stoke      0-0   A. Villa

Spurs
 
B'mingham  1-1   Spurs
Spurs      0-0   A. Villa
Wolves     1-0   Spurs
Wigan      0-3   Spurs
Spurs      2-1   Everton
Spurs      3-1   Blackburn

Pos        P  W  D  L   F-A  GD  Pts
 4 Spurs  29 15  7  7  53-28  25  52
11 Stoke  29  8 12  9  28-33  -5  36
No time for feet of clay in The Potteries

Spurs' first visit to The Britannia Stadiumlast season was an entirely forgetful experience for the away fans. In what was Juande Ramos's last domestic game in charge, Spurs had Gareth Bale sent off after just 17 minutes for what was deemed a professional foul, and Higginbotham planted the resulting penalty kick beyond the left hand of Gomes to give the home side the lead. Darren Bent did equalise 6 minutes later, but throw-in merchant Rory Delap scored what turned out to be the winner in the 53rd minute.

Spurs then had Michael Dawson sent off for a high tackle in added time, during which Stoke contrived to miss a penalty by Fuller, and to hit the bar with another effort. Stoke fans were not happy about Alan Hutton's challenge upon their keeper Thomas Sorensen who had to be replaced due to a head injury after 66 minutes. Spurs were bedraggled and their worst ever league start was confirmed, with references being made to the year The Titanic sank in 1912. The Stoke fans' chant to Ramos "You're getting sacked in the morning" was so nearly correct, as he was sacked following the defeat at Udinese the following Thursday. Harry Redknapp was not officially in charge of team affairs but was present for the victory over Bolton the following week, and our recovery was under way.

So, from that low point in our recent history, we travel to The Potteries in fourth place and in need of the three points to hold onto that secred spot whilst Aston Villa, Man City and Liverpool (in that order) try to overtake us. Villa have an inferior goal difference and even a win over Wolves will not quite take them above us. City are at Fulham, and Liverpool are at Old Trafford. Not all the contenders are likely to get three points, but as usual, all Spurs have to do is to secure their win and worry about the next game!

However, a win for any team at The Britannia Stadium is not an easy task. Four teams have done it this season in the Premier League, with Birmingham joining Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal in that particular club. Our hated rivals were the most recent such winners, and we can expect a few chants from visiting supporters in favour of Ryan Shawcross, who has now served his three match ban for the tackle on Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey. Mr. Wenger was not of course satisfied with the standard ban, and it's as if he wanted the player to be publicly flogged.

Shawcross is an example of the true grit that exists in the Stoke squad, and of course he won recognition from Fabio Capello before THAT tackle. Despite their so-called hard and gritty approach to the game, Stoke have no player on the injury list at present. One of their problems has been goal-scoring, and they are the highest placed team in the league with a scoring record of less than one goal per (league) game. 20 of those goals have been at home though, where they have scored 2 against Burnley, West Ham, Wolves and Wigan and three against Fulham and Blackburn. Stoke's leading league scorer is Tuncay (bought last summer from Middlesbrough), but he has only got 4 to his name.

Ricardo Fuller hasn't scored a league goal since November, but he has managed 4 in Cup games since then. A fair number of Stoke's goals come from those famous dead ball situations, such as Delap's throws. Stoke are likely to include former Spurs winger Matthew Etherington, who won't get a favourable reception due to his comments when arriving at West Ham from Spurs.

Stoke finished 12th last season with 40 points, and are surely likely to exceed that total this season, with games against West Ham, Hull, Wolves and Bolton to follow our game. Their last three games are against Chelsea, Everton and Man Utd, so Tony Pulis will be keen to get as many points as he can before then, starting with us! Pulis is to be commended for getting Stoke back to the top level, and keeping them there for what will be a third season. They even had a decent FA Cup run this year, beating Man City along the way to the quarter-finals.

The Stoke fans are always fired up, but they will feel confident after last season's result, and Stoke's win at White Hart Lane in October. Spurs have the same injury problems as last week, and will surely field a similar team to that which beat Blackburn. It's going to be a case of flair versus grit, and an early goal could be vital to Spurs chances of that all-important win. My head says we'll be struggling to get more than a draw, but I'll go with the heart this time, and a 2-1 win for Spurs!

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