As if we’re not already up to our necks in injuries, we’ve been brought the news that Jermain Defoe has a hamstring injury that will keep him out for up to a month. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was on an incredible high from the earlier news that Arsenal had drawn Barcelona, I may have broken down and wept.

So exactly who do we play in his absence? Pavlyuchenko, obviously. He’s scoring goals for fun and is similar to Defoe in terms of their instinctive finishing.

Harry said only this week that all our strikers need a partner and can’t play alone up front, so that should rule out playing 4-5-1 (though as Pavlyuchenko plays up top for Russia, with Arshavin playing off him, I’m not sure I agree with HR). So will it be Crouch or Gudjohnsen? I’d say that the Icelandic forward is the more natural partner to Pav, but I’d be surprised if Harry doesn’t start with Crouch.

Against Stoke’s aerial bombardment, Crouch will be just as useful in our area as he’s likely to be in theirs and that’s why he should start, even though he and Pavlyuchenko don’t seem like a great partnership.

We also still have our problems in midfield, with Jenas not available despite being back in training. Modric has been alright in central midfield against Fulham and Blackburn, but it’s not his best position and Stoke away from home will present a more difficult challenge.

This game as a whole represents a big challenge to Spurs. A win would be massive. Only two teams have won at the Britannia stadium this season (Birmingham and Arsenal) and they’re not the type of opposition that Spurs traditionally excel against.

On paper, this team should be able to deal with the long throw ins better than most. Yes, Modric is a midget, but Dawson, Bassong, Corluka, Palacios, Bale, Kranjcar, Pavlyuchenko and Crouch are all reasonably tall (actually ‘reasonably tall’ is one thing that Crouch isn’t).

It’s Gomes that worries me. I’m sold on him as a shot saver, but any cross whipped into our box still scares the bejesus out of me. Last time he played against Stoke he spent much of the game crying, which never inspires confidence.

Still, they might have a great record at home, but they’re not Barcelona. It’s Stoke City. A team promoted only last season and who we outplayed at White Hart Lane earlier this season, even if they did come away with a 1-0 win. It’s tough, but certainly a game we can win.

I don’t think we will though. I’m predicting a 1-1 draw and anything better than that will be a bonus.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. bloody hell! defoe aint our GOD, we have Crouch and Gudjohnsen.

    i think tottenham would play much better football without corluka, jenas and defoe to be honest.

    • I’m not a huge fan of Defoe myself. Good at what he does, but with obvious limitations. However, I can’t see Crouch and Pav as a very good combination and we still have no idea whether Gudjohnsen is up to playing at the top level. I guess we’ll find out…

  2. Young yid has got it right about defoe. Most of the time he couldn’t hit a cows arse with a banjo, he is totally overrated and no loss

    Jenas fair enough, but not charlie I really like him. Of our two full backs BAE is the dodgy one (when bale not playing lb). In fact BAE is bloody awful

  3. We should win this one because we have lost to teams when we have been favorites and this game we are not .You say its only Stoke but all these Teams are punching above there weight. Stoke Birmingham Fulham Everton Wolves have won games with some of there best players missing and this is what we need to learn to do .The new Football word is Tempo and it goes like this after 15 to 20 mins the Tempo increases this is when they get the all important goal and then block save until the ref blows the whistle and you win 1-0.We cant do this because we would tire and the opposition would score Harry needs to learn how these Teams stay in top gear for the whole game and then we will fear no one .I told my fellow Spurs fans last week Defoe was carrying a knock and it was a bad stretch away from sidelining him, we can cope if Harry Uses our kids to fill in like Townsend Bostock on the bench with a little cameo role like Everton have done to beat Utd Gosling and Rodwell, COYS 3-1 TO THE SPURS.

  4. Barcelona? Sweet! I wanted them to get either Barça or United. Not worried about Defoe, obvious that Crouch and Gud on the bench will do.

    “The handsome guy will score the winner…” Fuck off the net and get some sleep, Crouchy! 😉

  5. Plonker!…Defoe has been shite for a while now. He is off form and a change might just see someone else copy Pav and take there chance.

    We have a squad it’s not all about Defoe …tosser!

  6. err stoke have lost at home four times this season!?
    stoke 1 – 2 chelsea
    stoke 0 – 2 man u
    stoke 0 – 1 birm
    stoke 1 – 3 arse

  7. I’m not worried.
    We have the Beanstalk & da ‘Baby-faced’
    Russian Assassin. Icelandic Power Tower
    is also a reason why we shouldn’t be worried.
    Defoe’s injury could be a blessing in disguise.
    Put it this way, he gets more rest during his
    recovery and means Pavvy thinks he has a
    more important role to play and Crouch gets
    enough games towards the end of the season
    to seal his place in the England squad. I hope
    Lennon can recover and be fit in time for WC.
    Forget Beckham, we can provide Huddlestone,
    which pretty have 75% what Becks has. He can
    run though he doesn’t need to, sharp passing
    and the 25% missing from him is his accuracy
    in direct freekicks. Nobody can Bend-It-Like-Becks.

  8. n17ment is right: the big 3 have all won at Stoke, and the ones chasing 4th have all dropped points: hence the difference.

    As for Defoe: what’s all this rubbish about he won’t be missed? Are people completely mad? Top scorer with 23 goals!!!??

    Last game he missed, we lost. He has been great all season, with added strength to his pace and instinctive finishing. He stretches defences and gives space to others, and his all round game has improved.

    I agree with Fitch the ideal would be switch to a 4-5-1 with Pav up top, which would suit Modric better too – but just seen the team news: Kaboul in centre-mid!!! O well: that’s a gamble, let’s see what happens.

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