Stoke have a habit of starting their season’s slowly and this campaign is the slowest in a while as Mark Hughes’s side find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table after the first three matches. Obviously with only three matches played there isn’t the need for any kneejerk reactions such as calling for a change of manager but this is certainly not the start that Stoke fans would have expected.
Life doesn’t get any easier for them on Saturday as they play host to Tottenham, a side which ran roughshod over them last April as they eased to a 4-0 victory. Tottenham fans will point to that as the final high point of the season as the wheels very much fell off the wagon after that and with an unbeaten start to this campaign they will look to continue that run against the leagues basement side
But that said this isn’t the Tottenham of last season as they were fortunate to get themselves back into their encounter with Liverpool one that in the end gave them somewhat of an undeserved share of the points at White Hart Lane. This is a Spurs side that still looks a bit disjointed and one where Mauricio Pochettino seemingly hasn’t quite got the balance of personnel right in both midfield and attack.
To get themselves back into the game against Liverpool showed character from Spurs but they were fortunate to still be in the game. Had it not been for Michel Vorm then Liverpool could have very well wrapped up the game before half time.
The goalscorer for Spurs that afternoon Danny Rose will miss the game through injury so Ben Davies will be expected to make his first start for the club and the hope will be that he can match the heroic efforts for Wales during Euro 2016.
He will go up against national team mate Joe Allen who is still settling in after his move from Liverpool this Summer. It’s fair to say that he hasn’t quite lived up to his price tag or expectations for that matter and the hope will be that he discovers the kind of form that he displayed in France during the Summer but as we well know international and domestic football are two totally different breeds.
Stoke will look to take full advantage of an opposition that doesn’t quite know it’s best eleven but then again Stoke are losing the qualities that made the Bet365 Stadium the indominatible fortress that it used to be and as Manchester City showed last month there seems to be a soft underbelly in this current Stoke side. Stoke will look for a first win of the season while Tottenham will be disappointed if they don’t come away with all three points
Tottenham ran riot here last season and while I don’t think will be that comprehensive this time around I think they will come away with all three points. This afternoon would also be the ideal time for Harry Kane to break his duck for the season. An away win for me.