Stoke make the first of two trips to London on Saturday with the visit to Spurs. Both teams have cup matches on their minds with Spurs still licking their wounds after their 4-0 thrashing at Real Madrid in midweek and facing the prospect of the return leg at White Hart Lane next week, whilst the mighty Potters will be thinking of Wembley in just over a week. Having said that, the prospect of the Potters’ first appearance at the iconic stadium didn’t stop us drawing 1-1 with Chelsea last week in a gripping game that we could (and arguably should) have won.
Glenn Whelan certainly hopes that they can replicate the form that nearly saw off the reigning champions and earned the Potters a vital point. He told the official site: ‘We can go to Spurs full of confidence about getting something out of the game. After all, when you are disappointed that you haven’t taken all three points from a game against Chelsea, then you know you have done okay.’
Tottenham Team News:
Spurs could only manage a goalless draw last weekend against bottom of the table Wigan in what was said to be an uninspiring performance from a team that still has realistic ambitions of Champions League football next season. Peter Crouch should at least be fresh after only playing for 15 minutes in midweek before he was red-carded. Aaron Lennon was another who missed out after reportedly feeling ill in the build-up to the match, but should also be fit for the match on Saturday.
Player to watch: Gareth Bale
Bale has been in stunning form this season and is just ahead of Robert Huth in the race to be one of the highest scoring defenders with 11 goals so far to Huth’s 8. He missed out on the trip to Wigan through injury, but returned for the ill-fated trip to the Bernabeu on Tuesday.
Stoke City Team News:
The big news is that Danny Higginbotham will miss the rest of the season with a cruciate ligament injury that he sustained in the final minutes of the Chelsea match, but John Carew may be fit enough to return as he eyes up the chance to play at Wembley.
Player to watch: Kenwyne Jones
Jones looked sharper and more lively than he has for many weeks last weekend and will need to show some form with Jon Walters doing well and Carew coming back into contention for a place in the starting eleven
Match Facts & Stats
Sunday 17th April: Bolton (WEMBLEY!) kick-off: 4pm