Tottenham will see if their Tim Sherwood gamble truly paid off when they play against Stoke this weekend. After a less than impressive 1-1 tie against West Brom on Boxing Day, their newly appointed manager will have another chance to make a good impression at White Hart Lane.
This Sunday will see a very green Sherwood pitted against a ferocious Mark Hughes, who will be desperate to regain the ground lost at Newcastle after their humiliating 5-1 defeat. The manager, who was sent to the stands during their last game and has been charged with improper conduct for angrily throwing his coat in the air at being sent away from the front line, will undoubtedly prove to have a short fuse this weekend, especially if Spurs manage to score an early goal.
Home advantage will be the key factor in this game, especially as Stoke have won less than half of the games they have played in London. Spurs, who are in eighth position in the Premier League table, will not want to lose any more points to the Potters, currently in 10th place.
Tottenham may have the upper hand in this game, with Stoke missing two key men (Glenn Whelan and Marc Wilson) and Spurs midfielder Paulinho will return from suspension, but they will also be hit by defender Kyle Walker’s absence, who is serving a ban after the Boxing Day West Brom clash.
This game looks to be make-or-break for Sherwood, who will seek to repeat or better his first result against Southampton (3-2) and Hughes, who will try to claw back the points lost in previous matches.
KICK-OFF: Sunday, 4 pm
LAST THREE MEETINGS:
Stoke City 1 (N’Zonzi) Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Dempsey, Adebayor), Premier League, May 2013
Tottenham Hotspur 0 Stoke City 0, Premier League, December 2012
Tottenham Hotspur 1 (van der Vaart) Stoke City 1 (Jerome), Premier League, March 2012
Tottenham have lost only 2 of their last 38 home league meetings with Stoke City.
Spurs have the worst home record in the top half of the table this season, winning just 3 of their 9 matches and conceding 13 goals.
Spurs kept 7 clean sheets in their first 10 league matches this season, but have yet to register one in their last 8 games.
Stoke have only scored 17 goals in 29 Premier League visits to London.
There have been 5 red cards in the last 10 league matches between these sides.
Tottenham Hotspur to win: 1.44
Stoke City to win: 8.0
TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.30pm.