Mauricio Pochettino is confident Tottenham will this weekend exact revenge on Stoke after defeats home and away last season.
During a topsy-turvy first season at the White Hart Lane helm, one of the undoubted troughs for the former Argentina international came in November’s home clash with the Potters.
That 2-1 home defeat was Spurs’ third loss in four league games and led pressure to mount on Pochettino – a sticky period he survived and moved on from, leading the club to the Capital One Cup final and a fifth-placed finish.
Stoke once again exposed the north Londoners’ soft underbelly before the season was out, though, winning 3-0 in May, giving Pochettino even more motivation to triumph when the sides meet again on Saturday.
“It’s true the last two games that we played at White Hart Lane and the Britannia Stadium we lost, but it’s a good opportunity to take our revenge,” Pochettino said of Saturday’s match.
“It’s a different season, we’re happy with our performance – disappointed with the result – against Manchester United but I think the way we played, our performance was good.
“We need to show on Saturday that we deserved more.”
Spurs were without a number of key players last weekend as they opened the season with a 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford.
However, those injury issues have eased markedly since then, with Danny Rose, Andros Townsend, Alex Pritchard and, most importantly, Hugo Lloris fit to face the Potters.
“This week was fantastic for everyone,” Pochettino said. “All the players are fit and this is good news for us.
“The only shame is we can only pick 18 players for Saturday, but we’re very happy because all the players are fit.
“Hugo and Alex Pritchard played on Monday for the Under-21s against Everton, and Danny Rose and Townsend are training in a normal way.
“Danny had a little problem last week but he’s been training in a normal way.”
The returning players, particularly those at the back, could prove key against an increasingly attack-minded Stoke side.
Known for so long as a physical side, they look a far more exciting prospect after Mark Hughes this summer brought in the likes of Marco van Ginkel, Ibrahim Afellay and Xherdan Shaqiri.
“I think their activity was high and they invested a lot of money,” Pochettino said.
“The last signing was Shaqiri, a very good player, but every club has their philosophy and for us, I’m very happy with the way that we work.”
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