WILL DYER (@w2Dyer) gives us his opinion on the Potters last visit to White Hart Lane. Tottenham had another disappointing midweek in the Europa League but will welcome the change from Wembley having won their last 10 at WHL. Will rigid Stoke prove more of a challenge or is this business as usual?
Tottenham Hotspur v Stoke City | Sunday 13:30 | Sky Sports 1
Spurs Wembley woe continued on Thursday night as they crashed out of the Europa League at the hands of mid-table Jupiler League Belgians, KAA Gent. A horrendous tackle and subsequent red card for Dele Alli in the first half meant the writing was on the wall from very early on considering the first leg reverse.
Spurs had won 10 in a row at home prior to that game and it once again highlights the ineptitude of our British clubs in European competition. Of course it wasn’t technically ‘home’ but Tottenham should be used to Wembley now.
Spurs dominated the game despite being a man down but they converted only three of their 25 efforts at goal to shots on target and ultimately that’s where they fell down, the first leg being a similar story.
That result doesn’t bode well for their meeting with Stoke who have kept it tight in the Premier League in 2017; conceding just four goals in six outings. Mark Hughes and right hand man Eddie Niedzwiecki have a knack of correcting issues before they become bigger problems.
The Potters are as always comfortably mid-table and this season is no different as they sit in ninth place, however, it didn’t start out so well, defensive errors keeping them in the bottom three until the 22nd of October – nine games into the season.
Spurs have won just one of their last four Premier League games but all of those failings came when they were away from home. I also saw first-hand just how well they have been playing at times this season when they battered Fulham for 90 minutes in a 3-0 win at Craven Cottage last weekend.
Europa League hangovers are a well-documented phenomenon and Stoke have had over two weeks to prepare for this game. Opposing Spurs at White Hart Lane though is a foolish thing to do.
The hosts still have the joint-best defensive record in the division and at home it’s even more impressive; conceding on average 0.42 goals per game – Burnley, West Ham, Liverpool and Leicester the only teams to net out of 12 home fixtures so far this season.
Stoke are no pushovers and, with the Europa League disappointment still looming over Tottenham, I think the logical thing to do is bank on this being a cagey game but one which ultimately still goes to the hosts based on their supreme home form and water-tight defence.
Tottenham to win and under 3.5 goals in the game is 27/20 with BetStars. That covers, 1-0, 2-0, 2-1 and 3-0 victories for Mauricio Pochettino’s men. Seven of Spurs 10 home wins in 2016/17 have come via one of those score-lines.
Tottenham Hotspur v Stoke City – Tottenham Hotspur to win and Under 3.5 goals (27/20 BetStars)