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Tottenham Hotspur versus Stoke City - the fans’ view
February 23, 2017 / 4:33 PM / 9 months ago

Tottenham Hotspur versus Stoke City - the fans’ view

REUTERS - Stoke City head for White Hart Lane on Sunday with both sets of fans feeling a little edgy.

Britain Football Soccer - Tottenham Hotspur v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League - White Hart Lane - 14/1/17 Tottenham fans pose outside the stadium before the match Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs Livepic

Mark Hughes’ side have won only one of their last 20 Premier League games in London -- although that solitary triumph came at the home of third-placed Tottenham, back in November 2014.

Here is what the fans have to say about their respective clubs.

Martin Buhagiar, board member, Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust:

”I’m feeling a little bit anxious ahead of Stoke’s arrival. It is one of those games where any early goal will really help to settle the nerves. The longer the game goes at 0-0, the more you can see Stoke growing into it.

”I’ll go for 2-1 to Spurs this weekend but I think it will be a tight and cagey game. We’ve played twice in Europe and in the FA Cup since Stoke’s last game so fatigue could be a factor here.

”Hopefully, the quality in our squad will see us through but I don’t think this game will be straightforward. Oh, and bet on Saido Berahino to score against us -- it always happens.

”I don’t think the title race is over and it surprises me when pundits say that it is. We’ve seen it all before in the Premier League. Chelsea are in a great position and are obviously favourites but they still have some big games to play.

”We have nine winnable games in the league. I‘m not saying we’ll win them all, but an unbeaten run could put us back in contention. We slipped up last year when we had the chance to close the gap. It will be interesting to see if we have learnt from that.

“It’s been hard playing at a half-demolished White Hart Lane - especially as I sat in the missing corner. But there is a tinge of excitement every time you see how the new development has moved on. It’s for the greater good. And, we’re unbeaten at home so it’s clearly not affecting the players -- famous last words.”

Chris Ramsbottom, Stoke City “super fan”:

”Unfortunately, Stoke’s last few games have made for uncomfortable viewing, particularly in the middle of the park.

”Charlie Adam and Glenn Whelan have formed a partnership over recent weeks and that tends to get the job done against lower-table opposition -- but it merely covers up the desperate need for an out-and-out defensive midfielder. When you start to come up against teams in the top six, like Spurs, it’s hard to think we’re not going to get caught out.

”I think we will lose 2-0. Marko Arnautovic is our main creative outlet but has seemingly lost a bit of bottle in front of goal. If Xherdan Shaqiri comes back and makes a start alongside him, then we might see a goal, but I think our central-midfield issue will be too much for us to take anything out of the game.

”I like Mark Hughes and I think he’s great at getting clubs to a certain point, but getting us past ninth in the table is the real challenge, and will be for any manager.

”Lee Grant is my stand-out performer of the season so far. I think that seeing his name popping up as a back-up loan signing at the start of the season was somewhat underwhelming. But I couldn’t have been more wrong.

“Grant has been a fantastic keeper and has stepped up when we have needed someone -- and he’s becoming a favourite with the fans. He’s a great shot stopper -- and he’s had more than his fair share to stop -- and commands the box, too.”

Editing by Neville Dalton

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