|English Premier League 2013-14|
| Stoke City
||vs|| Tottenham Hotspurs
ScheduleSaturday, 26 April 2014 at 14:00 GMT / 15:00 UK / 19:30 IST
Stoke City, under Mark Hughes, has certainly seemed to have thrown away the shackles of Tony Pulis this season. Their form this season has been so good that they are poised to finish in the Top 10 for the first time in the Premier League era. That will certainly drive them forward for the remaining games, considering they have nothing else to play for. They will particularly be looking over their shoulders as Crystal Palace are very close themselves, just one point behind. Therefore, they would certainly want to win this game and ensure they try and get the top 10 finish.
Tottenham Hotspur presently have nothing to play for in the league, apart from perhaps wanting to finish above Manchester United. They certainly have no chance of finishing in the Top 4, and they don’t have a hope of reeling in Everton either, so a 6th place is all they can hope for. With rumours doing the rounds that Tim Sherwood will not continue as manager after this season, motivation would be at an all time low for the players, whose futures would be in jeopardy as well as they don’t know who the manager would be next season. Sherwood, though, for his part has been getting the results on a consistent basis.
Stoke City will be the ones who will be eager to play this game, as a top 10 finish would be a great boost for the club, the fans and the players themselves, something they can build on for next season. Playing Tottenham who, though winning every other game, will not be up for a physical battle should give the confidence to Stoke City players. Since Crystal Palace will be playing a rampant Manchester City bent on trying to get back into the title race, this will be Stoke’s chance to put some daylight between the two teams.
Stoke City have only 3 players on the injury list, but all 3 are out for the long term. Pieters is suffering from an illness and no return date has been set for him while Etherington and Huth haven’t recovered from their respective injuries either.
Tottenham Hotspur have 5 players on the injury list, with Capoue, Walker and Lamela still out with long term injuries. Dawson and Vertonghen are scheduled to be ready for the weekend, but they will have to pass fitness tests before they can be drafted into the squad.
Head to Head
Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur have played each other 79 matches, with Spurs being the dominant team. Stoke managed to win only 19 of their games against Spurs while Tottenham have won as many as 42 games, with 18 matches drawn.
Stoke City – DWLWW
Tottenham Hotspur – WDWLW
Prediction – Stoke City 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Stoke City would want to take the attack to Spurs to try and force the win, which could play into the hands of Tottenham’s counter attacking ability. While it is not usual to see Stoke going forward with intent, the chance to finish in the Top 10 will certainly spur them on to take the initiative.