Both Tottenham and Stoke enter this fixture looking to build on encouraging displays against Manchester United and Liverpool, that unfortunately both ended in 1-0 losses.
Saturday may well prove to be a feisty encounter, with both Tottenham and Stoke possessing players willing to lunge into tackles. The teams’ excellent tackling ability can be demonstrated by the fact that with 26 and 25 apiece, they completed more tackles than any other teams in the league.
The battle between Ibrahim Afellay and Christian Eriksen in the centre of the park could be a crucial one this weekend, as the pair have the ability to place a pass through the eye of a needle. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, the duo completed the most passes in the opposition half for their respective sides, with Afellay completing 20 and Eriken 21.
Nacer Chadli may have his work cutout when he comes up against Glen Johnson at White Hart Lane on Saturday, as the former Liverpool man was marauding forward from right back at every opportunity last weekend. Johnson swung in six crosses against Liverpool, which was the third most of any defender in the league, and shows that Chadli must be conscious about tracking his man throughout the 90 minutes.
Marco Van Ginkel made his Stoke City bow at the weekend, performing admirably in the centre of the park and covering an impressive 12.3km. He’ll have to be sure he’s watching talented playmaker Christian Eriksen, though, as the Dane also showed his ability to cover every blade of grass – running 12.4km against Manchester United.
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