Stoke City-Tottenham Hotspur Preview
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Tottenham Hotspur return to Premier League play hoping to stop the rot of a four-match winless run Saturday against Stoke City at Wembley Stadium.
Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs (7-4-4) are amidst an 0-2-2 rut within the league and have fallen to sixth place. However, they are still within four points of the top four - making this weekend's clash with Stoke quite important.
Last time out in the league, Spurs battled back to earn a point in a 1-1 draw at Watford despite going down to 10 men thanks to a 52nd-minute red card to Davinson Sanchez
The Lillywhites will come into the match feeling good about themselves, however, following Wednesday's 3-0 victory over APOEL in the Champions League. The club took 16 of a possible 18 points in a group that also included Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid.
"We were talking a lot because in the last few games we've started a little bit sloppy and conceded chances to the opponent, so it was good to be focused and to concentrate on the game from the beginning and start to play with a high tempo," Pochettino said.
"The (Champions League group) campaign was fantastic, a lot of things to be very proud of. The team deserves all the praise."
Pochettino will be hoping his boys can take that momentum forward into Saturday, and Stoke may be the perfect opponent.
Tottenham have won each of their last three Premier League matches against Stoke City, all by a 4-0 score. No side in top-flight history has won four consecutive matches by four or more goals. Tottenham also have lost only one of their last seven home matches against Stoke City.
Stoke (4-4-7), though, have some momentum following last week's 2-1 win over Swansea City which put an end to a four-match winless run in league play. Stoke fell behind after just three minutes thanks to a goal from Wilfried Bony, but they turned it around with first-half goals from Xherdan Shaqiri and Mame Diouf.
If Stoke are to get anything from Saturday, Shaqiri must continue to play a big part. The Swiss international has been directly involved in nine goals in his last 11 Premier League appearances (four goals, five assists).
The Potters also will be comfortable playing at Wembley as they have won four of their five visits there across all competitions.
On the injury front, Stoke manager Mark Hughes confirmed that defender Geoff Cameron is available for selection after suffering a concussion back in October. Burno Martins Indi, however, faces up to eight weeks out after suffering a groin injury against Swansea.
Updated December 7, 2017