Premier League Preview: Stoke v Tottenham
By Football News
Tottenham travel to Stoke on Sunday knowing they need to win to keep them in the running for a top-four finish in the Premier League.
Andre Villas-Boas' side missed an opportunity to move above Arsenal into fourth with their draw against Chelsea on Wednesday so they will be keen to win against Stoke to lift them into UEFA Champions League contention.
With their Arsenal not playing until Tuesday, Tottenham know that victory over Tony Pulis' side will see them move into fourth place and put the pressure back on their neighbours.
Tottenham's away form this season is only bettered in the Premier League by Manchester United and Arsenal, they have won nine times on their travels and picked up three points in two of their last three visits to Stoke.
Mousa Dembele and William Gallas are doubts for Villas-Boas going into the match but Aaron Lennon, who played 62 minutes in their draw with Chelsea, should be fit and available for selection as they look to extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League to seven games.
Having only won once in 2013 until mid-April, Stoke's back-to-back victories over QPR and Norwich ended any fears of relegation and, although they are not mathematically safe, it would need a massive swing in goal difference to see them relegated.
Pulis' side know that a point in this match will secure Premier League football for a sixth season. although if other results go their way they could still lose this match and guarantee their safety.
Since Stoke came into the Premier League in 2008, both sides have had a fair amount of success against each other, with Tottenham winning four times and Stoke three. The last time they met at the Britannia Stadium, the home side came out victorious with a 2-1 victory thanks to two goals from Matthew Etherington.
Glenn Whelan and Andy Wilkinson both missed Monday's draw at Sunderland through injury and they remain doubts for this clash, that means Dean Whitehead should continue in midfield with Geoff Cameron and Marc Wilson fighting to replace Wilkinson in defence.