Premier League Preview: Tottenham v Stoke

Tim Sherwood will be hoping for a second chance to make a first impression when Stoke City visit White Hart Lane on Sunday.

The 44-year-old - appointed as Andre Villas-Boas' replacement earlier this month - led Tottenham to a disappointing 1-1 home draw against West Brom on Thursday in his first game in permanent charge of the club

A 3-2 victory at Southampton preceded that result, and Sherwood will be keen to get back to winning ways as soon as possible, particularly on home soil.

And the history books make happy reading for the former midfielder, with Spurs having lost just two of their 38 previous home league fixtures against Stoke.

Playmaker Lewis Holtby is demanding a win from his colleagues as they look to keep pace in a tight-knit top eight.

"We have to win this game against Stoke because it's vital we stay up near the top with the European places," Holtby told the club's official website.

"It was a very disappointing result at home against West Brom but there's no time for feeling sorry for ourselves."

The visitors have picked up just five points on the road this season - a joint league low with Hull City - but only failed to score in two of their last 10 matches with Tottenham.

Stoke currently sit 10th in the Premier League and their recent form shows a real mixed bag of results, having won two, drawn two and lost two of their last six.

However, they will be keen to bounce back from an eventful 5-1 defeat at Newcastle United on Boxing Day, which saw both Glenn Whelan and Marc Wilson handed red cards and manager Mark Hughes sent to the stands.

The events of that match leave the men from the Britannia Stadium two men light for the trip to London as the duo serve their respective one-game bans.

Kyle Walker will be missing for the hosts after receiving a fifth booking of the campaign against West Brom, but Paulinho returns from his suspension.

Tottenham have a lengthy injury list, though Jermain Defoe (hamstring), Mousa Dembele (ankle) and Aaron Lennon (stomach) face late fitness tests and could feature.

Stoke, meanwhile, will be without Asmir Begovic (finger), Matthew Etherington (back) and Robert Huth (knee).


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