Tottenham Hotspur face Stoke City in their first home match of the 2015/16 Premier League campaign with both clubs have lost their respective opening fixtures 1-0.
While the Potters were downed 1-0 at home to Liverpool, Spurs head into the encounter coming off the back of a narrow defeat at Manchester United, where for large parts it was a very even affair.
A lack of creativity was the North Londoners’ major downfall at Old Trafford, and against Stoke boss Mauricio Pochettino should opt for a more attack-minded line-up in order to get the three points
Hugo Lloris was only a substitute last weekend after fracturing his wrist in pre-season, yet the club’s number one played the full 90 minutes for the U21 side on Monday and will be fit to face Stoke.
With Danny Rose injured, Ben Davies retains his spot at left-back but Kieran Tripper should come in for Kyle Walker in order to give the team a little more of an attacking edge.
The summer signing was the most creative right-back in the Premier League last season, and against a compact Stoke side his deep runs and crossing ability could prove a key factor.
Ryan Mason wasn’t 100% fit to start on Saturday, and his absence could have played a part in Nabil Bentaleb’s disappointing performance as the Algerian looked out of sorts.
Now the England international is back, he should come in for Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele should move into the centre in order to allow Spurs to win the midfield battle.
Stoke are likely to deploy a workmanlike midfield trio of Marco van Ginkel, Charlie Adam and Glenn Whelan, so therefore it is imperative that Spurs aren’t light in that area and find themselves outnumbered.
Question marks remain over Christian Eriksen’s best position – Is he better out on the right cutting in or is he more influential in the middle? Truth is, he’s arguably equally comfortable playing both.
The Dane ought to play wider on Saturday and cut inside, allowing Trippier to use the space down the right flank to provide crosses for Harry Kane in the middle.
The England international striker suffered last weekend duo to the lack of balls fed into the United box. Nacer Chadli completes the line-up, while Erik Lamela could still be feeling the strains of a tough summer.