By Ian S Palmer
Tottenham Hotspur play their first home game of the 2015/16 English Premier League season this Saturday, August 15 when the host Stoke City at White Hart Lane in London. Both teams are looking for their first point of the season as Spurs dropped a 1-0 decision to Manchester United on the road at Old Trafford last week while Stoke were beaten 1-0 at home by Liverpool. Spurs lost on an own goal by English international defender Kyle Walker and Stoke allowed a late goal by Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho to beat them.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Stoke City betting preview
- bet365 lists Tottenham as the current favorites at 8/11 while Stoke is 15/4 and a draw is 13/5
Head to Head:
- Stoke beat Spurs 3-0 at home last season and managed a 2-1 win over them on the road. However, Spurs has won three of their last six meetings with a draw and those two losses. In addition, Spurs have kept three clean sheets in those half dozen outings. Overall, the teams have met 88 times in the past with Spurs holding the edge with 43 wins, 19 draws and 26 losses. Charlie Adam of Stoke has scored goals and been sent off two times in seven Premier League games against Tottenham. Spurs used the youngest squad in the first week of the 2015/16 season with an average player age of 25 years and 28 days.
Spurs had a decent game at Old Trafford in their season opener and held the edge in ball possession, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Stoke usually gives them trouble and that can be seen by their double over Spurs last campaign. The club has added some good players during the summer transfer window and topped things off by signing 23-year-old Swiss international forward Xherdan Shaqiri from Italian Serie A team Inter Milan for a reported club record of 12 million pounds. The winger then agreed to terms on a five-year contract with the English side.
Spurs had a so-so home record in 2014/15 as they won 10 of their 19 matches, drew three and lost the other six. The six home defeats represent the most by any of the league’s top eight teams last year. Stoke City won at White Hart Lane and also managed to upset Manchester City on the road last year, but overall they won just five road encounters, drew six and lost the other eight. Stoke will have to play this game and the first two months of the season without captain Ryan Shawcross as the English defender needs back surgery.
Stoke City won 15 games last year while drawing nine and losing 14 for a ninth-place finish with 54 points. They added some decent players in the offseason such as Philipp Wollscheid, Jakob Haugaard, Marco Van Ginkel, goaltender Shay Given, Glen Johnson, Moha El Ouriachi and Ibrahim Afellay. On the way out of town were Robert Huth, Steven Nzonzi, Jamie Ness and goaltender Asmir Begovic.
Tottenham finished last season in fifth place with a record of 19 victories, seven draws and 12 losses for 64 points. Tottenham has the potential to be a top-four team and may achieve it this year if they get a bit more consistency from their top players. They’ve acquired the likes of Kevin Wimmer, Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld. Those who left White Hart Lane included Paulinho, Lewis Holtby, Jordan Archer, Alex McQueen, Etienne Capoue, Grant Ward (loan), Younes Kaboul, Benjamin Stambouli and Cristian Ceballos.