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Stoke City vs. Tottenham Hotspur: Premier League Preview

Kyle Walker and Peter Crouch battle it out during Tottenham Hotspur's 0-0 draw with Stoke City last December.
Kyle Walker and Peter Crouch battle it out during Tottenham Hotspur's 0-0 draw with Stoke City last December.Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
Thomas CooperFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2013

Seven points from their last three matches has all but ensured (bar a massive goal-difference implosion) Stoke City's status as a Premier League club for one more season. After such a close call, you can bet manager Tony Pulis will want to seal the deal with a win over Tottenham Hotspur in their final home game.

Sunday also marks the Potters' 150th anniversary, with a host of events planned around the game. Tottenham will have no qualms about attempting to spoil the celebratory atmosphere, knowing three points is vital to keep their Champions League qualification hopes alive.

Doing so would take Spurs above North London rivals Arsenal into fourth place, putting a little pressure on the Gunners, who are not in action again until Tuesday when they host relegation threatened Wigan Athletic.

Andre Villas-Boas' side drew 2-2 last Wednesday against fellow Top Four chasers Chelsea. How valuable that point turns out to be will depend on how Spurs see out their remaining two games, beginning with Stoke.

Expected to be in contention is Mousa Dembele, after the influential midfielder missed his team's midweek draw.

Stoke could again be without Glenn Whelan, while defenders Andy Wilkinson and Marc Wilson are also doubts.

The two side's previous meeting just prior to Christmas resulted in a 0-0 draw, with a stubborn Stoke defensive display frustrating a creatively lethargic Spurs. At the Britannia Stadium it has been honors even in the league since Stoke's return to the top flight, each winning twice.

It was the Potters who came on top last time out in December 2011. Former Spur Matthew Etherington scored twice, with Emmanuel Adebayor replying, to record a 2-1 victory.

The defeat brought Spurs' 11-match unbeaten run to an end, with then-manager Harry Redknapp particularly incensed by referee Chris Foy's performance—elements of which he labelled as "farcical."

Tottenham will be hoping for better luck all-round, this time.

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