FT: Stoke 1 Tottenham 2

90
It's all over and Tottenham have moved up to fourth with a 2-1 victory over Stoke at the Britannia Stadium although Arsenal will have a chance to replace them when they face Wigan on Tuesday night.

90
Bale charges into the area but can't finish it off as Wilkinson slides in with a well-timed challenge.

90
Jerome does well on the right to swing in a cross to the back post but Marc Wilson's header is poor and Lloris collects.

90
A hopeful long ball is pumped forward by Stoke as Spurs fall into the temptation to sit back.

90
Stoke are struggling to even get hold of the ball, let alone mount a serious attack.

90
There will be four minutes of stoppage time to play before the final whistle sounds.

89
The visitors are doing a professional job in seeing this one out and showing no sign of nerves.

88
Tottenham are in no need to rush anymore as they casually try to run down the clock by passing the ball along their back line.

87
The visitors make a change with Dempsey being replaced by Gylfi Sigurdsson.

86
Tottenham must continue to play like they were doing before Adebayor's strike in order to keep the ball out of Stoke's control. But obviously that's going to be tougher now the hosts must attack.

85
Stoke are now forced to pushed forward in search of an equaliser but you'd fancy Tottenham to keep them out from here on in.

84
If Tottenham can hang on to this then the pressure will be back on Arsenal to regain fourth spot when they host a Wigan side fresh from winning the FA Cup this Tuesday night.

83
GOAL ADEBAYOR! Bale's pass from outside the box is deflected into the path of Dempsey by Dembele and the American's low cross from the right is tapped home by Adebayor at the far post.

82
Time is running out for Spurs to find what would be a dramatic winner.

81
Whitehead floats the free kick towards the back post which finds Huth but the big defender heads over the bar.

80
Walters is brought down just outside the area on the left wing and this could be a good opportunity for Stoke.

79
Stoke fans are on the edge of their feet as their side drive forward down the left but the cross into the box is cleared.

78
Tottenham fans will be pulling their hair out watching their side do everything but score against this most dogged Stoke outfit.

77
Huddlestone finds himself in the book after a foul on Nzonzi.

76
A defence splitting pass from Dembele finds Bale, who brilliantly carves out some space inside the box in which to shoot before firing wide. He did the hard bit but couldn't finish it off.

75
Stoke make a change with Geoff Cameron coming on to replace Shotton while Spurs bring on Jermain Defoe for Lennon.

74
Spurs are being largely restricted to long range shots by a Stoke side who are cramming their box with virtually all their players.

73
A weak short-corner routine fails to bear fruit for Tottenham as Stoke's resilience continues.

72
Tottenham are back on the front foot, with Dempsey seeing his fierce strike from just outside the box tipped over by Begovic.

71
Wilkinson has a pop at goal but his strike goes harmlessly wide of the mark.

70
Huddlestone floats a free kick into the box which Vertonghen heads narrowly over the bar. He should have done better.

69
Before the free-kick is taken, Parker is replaced by Mousa Dembele.

68
An overly forceful challenge from Shotton on Bale around 30 yards out results in a booking for the Stoke man.

67
The resulting low cross into the box is poor and Stoke can launch a rare attack on the counter, which comes to nothing.

66
After a long build up, Bale takes the free kick but sees his effort deflect behind for a corner.

65
Lennon wins a free kick on the edge of the box after being brought down by a clumsy Nzonzi tackle.

64
Tottenham continue to pile on the pressure but Bale's shot from a tight angle on the left is saved by Begovic.

63
Bale charges down the left wing but Whitehead just has enough legs to make a challenge.

62
Stoke manage to get into Spurs' half for a few moments before a wayward pass goes out for a throw.

61
A dangerous delivery into the box from Bale looks to for Dempsey but the American can't get close enough to make contact.

60
Tottenham have enjoyed 85% of second half possession but yet to make it could with a goal. At least if this trend continues it's highly unlikely they will concede.

59
A searching pass from Huddlestone finds Vertonghen on the left wing but his cross towards Dempsey is cut out by the Stoke defence.

58
Huddlestone's snap shot from distance is straight at Begovic, who makes a comfortable save.

57
Stoke make two changes with Etherington and Crouch coming off to be replaced by Andy Wilkinson and Cameron Jerome respectively.

56
A bit of a mix-up between Vertonghen and Bale leads to the defender's shot from the edge of the box being deflected over by the Welshman.

55
Nine Stoke outfield players sit behind the ball and allow Spurs to attack but there's no room to find a way through. This could be a frustrating afternoon for Andre Villas-Boas if Stoke continue to play like this.

54
I've lost count of the passes Spurs have made on the edge of the Stoke box but it all ends with Begovic catching a Vertonghen cross.

53
It's all one-way traffic now as you might expect but the 10 men of Stoke are digging deep.

52
Vertonghen fails to control the ball out wide on the left to give Stoke a moment to breath again.

51
Tottenham will surely smell blood as they continue to dominate possession even more than they did when the match was 11 v 11.

50
The corner causes problems in the Stoke defence but somehow Dempsey's close-range effort bounces agonisingly over the bar.

49
Huddlestone's deflected effort from outside the box goes behind for a corner as Spurs look to make their one-man advantage count.

48
It's going to be a long second half for Stoke fans as we anticapte their side sitting back for the remainder of this contest.

47
RED CARD ADAM! Adam brings down Vertonghen with a needless challenge in midfield and referee Kevin Friend shows the Scotsman his second yellow card.

46
Stoke get the second half of this clash under way at the Britannia Stadium.

1425
Tottenham remain odds-on favourites at 10/11 to win this clash with Sky Bet while Stoke are 4/1 and the draw priced at 13/8. The half-time price boosts include Spurs to win 3-1 (7/1), Stoke to win 3-2 (22/1), Crouch to score next (11/1) and Bale to score next (5/1). Head to Sky Bet to place your in-running bets.

45
The half-time whistle sounds as Stoke and Tottenham head into the break level at 1-1.

45
There's a bit of panic in the Spurs defence but they just about get the ball clear and that should be that for the half.

45
Adam does really well on the right wing, using his strength, power and determination to get past Dempsey before seeing his cross deflected behind for a corner.

45
There will be two minutes of stoppage time to play at the end of this absorbing half of football.

44
Spurs swiftly break down the other end, with Bale twisting and turning inside the area before seeing his low shot saved by Begovic.

43
Superb defending from Dawson thwarts Walter's attempts to get on the end of an Etherington cross before Jan Vertonghen belts the ball behind for what should be a corner. However the referee feels Adam fouled Vertonghen and shows the defender a yellow card.

42
Stoke - and in particular Matthew Etherington - try to be too clever with their free-kick routine and Spurs easily deal with it.

41
Ironic cheers from the home crowd as Stoke are awarded a free kick around 25 yards from goal following a foul on Walters by Dawson.

40
A much better delivery into the box from the boot of Bale picks out Michael Dawson and the defender's glancing header is well saved by Begovic at the near post.

39
Jon Walters and Walker are involved in a heated argument after a foul which gives Tottenham a free kick on the right wing.

38
No surprise that the corner - and another one soon after - comes to nothing.

37
Down the other end Adebayor wins a corner for the visitors after his curling shot from the edge of the box is deflected wide.

36
A delicate chipped ball into the area searches for Crouch but Lloris just gets there first to collect.

35
Dean Whitehead is the man who blocks another tame delivery into the box and Stoke will now look to get forward.

34
Spurs attack on the counter and earn a free kick when Huth clumsily brings down Bale following some disorganised defending. Huth subsequently receives a yellow card.

33
The home fans have discovered their voices again as Stoke mount a rare attack down the right but a long Shotton throw is cleared.

32
Lloris has had time to eat a full packed lunch since last touching the ball but an awkward back-pass forces him into a rather rushed clearance.

31
Bale makes a questionable decision to lob the corner out to Walker around 25 yards from goal and the defender's effort is deflected back into the path of the Welshman, who is in an offside position. Another wasted corner.

30
Tottenham now work their way down the right wing now and good work from Walker earns his side a corner.

29
Stoke continue to sit back and soak up the pressure, making it difficult for Spurs to slice a way through the defence.

28
Spurs are knocking the ball around nicely now with an air of confidence and urgency as Stoke chase shadows.

27
Shotton and Adam team up down the Tottenham left wing to snuff out the threat posed by Lennon.

26
Bale curls the resulting cross into the box but Peter Crouch is there to head clear.

25
Bale advances down the left after some neat one-twos and wins a corner when his cross is deflected behind by Shotton.

24
Tottenham are growing in confidence and if this pattern of play continues then it won't be too long before they go ahead.

23
The Welshman unleashes a swirling dipping drive which is always going over the bar. Bit of a waste. He's one of the best players around but that was ambitious even for him - to say the least.

22
The visitors have a free kick around 35-40 yards out after Robert Huth fouls Dempsey and Bale looks like he's going to have a crack at this.

21
To be honest Spurs deserve to be on level terms after doing much of the attacking since falling behind but they must remain on their guard to a fired up home side.

20
GOAL DEMPSEY! A crazy goal really. Begovic comes racing off his line to the edge of the box to cut out a long ball forward only for Marc Wilson to get their first and make a partial clearance which goes straight to Dempsey and the striker's first-time effort floats into an unguarded net. Hope that all makes sense!

18
Huddlestone's high delivery into the box is a poor one and Begovic makes a comfortable catch.

17
Tottenham are beginning to boss possession and have a free kick in midfielder which Huddlestone will look to pump forward.

16
Replays suggest it was an easy call for the linesman and there were no complaints from the American striker.

15
Aaron Lennon controls a cross from Emmanuel Adebayor on the right side of the area before playing it back for Kyle Walker on the edge of the box. The youngster's drilled effort is pretty feeble but it's then diverted into the net by Clint Dempsey's clever flick! But no, wait, the offside is correctly waved and the goal doesn't stand!

14
Back to the live action and Stoke have a corner on the right which causes a minor scare before Lloris comes off his line to punch clear.

13
While there's a brief lull in proceedings, I'm just having another look at the replay of the goal. I thought it was dreadful, lazy defending from Tottenham at the time and the more you watch it, the worse it gets.

12
Just remembered I tipped 2-0 to Tottenham. Many apologies to anyone who took my advice. If it's any consolation, I'm out of pocket too!

11
Bale once again tries his luck from distance only to see his effort fly high over the bar.

10
Ryan Shotton hurls a trademark long throw into the box which Tottenham are able to clear with relative ease.

9
Stoke advance menacingly down the right wing before Jan Vertonghen weighs in with a well-timed tackle to put the ball out of play.

8
It's certainly been an action-packed and high-octane opening to the clash - let's hope this continues for the full 90 minutes.

7
Spurs remain on the front foot as they chase an equaliser but the hosts stand firm and repel the danger for now.

6
The resulting corner from Tom Huddlestone was dreadful, going out of play on the other side of the pitch.

5
Tottenham try to make an immediate response and Gareth Bale's fierce curling effort from distance is tipped over the bar by Asmir Begovic.

4
Before today, it had seemed that many sides had wised up to Stoke's threat from set-pieces but Tottenham's defence just weren't switched on and are now find themselves playing catch up.

3
GOAL NZONZI! Charlie Adam whips in a dangerous free kick from the right wing which Steven Nzonzi heads past Hugo Lloris to give Stoke an early lead.

2
The fans - both home and away - are creating a great atmosphere during the early exchanges of this clash and the home side are certainly up for making life difficult for Spurs despite having little to play for.

1
Tottenham get the first of today's Premier League games under way against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium.

1320
The players are now making their way onto the pitch and are greeted by the home fans celebrating Stoke's 150th anniversary with flags and colour coordinated shirts to create a red and white stripped effect around the stands. But can the home side mark the occasion with a win or will Spurs climb up to third with the victory? Stay tuned to find out.

1315
A self proclaimed "optimistic Spurs fan" Daniel Skinner says: "If Spurs don't roll into Stoke today and win this game like they are capable of, then we don't deserve to play champions League football! COYS"

1310
Lewis Flack writes: "Spurs need these six point from the last two games if there's any hope of qualifying for CL. I think Wigan may be able to take some points from Arsenal after the fantastic victory yesterday, so Tottenham need to capitalise on this #COYS"

The Stoke team is: Begovic, Shotton, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson, Adam, Whitehead, Nzonzi, Etherington, Walters, Crouch. Subs: Sorensen, Cameron, Jones, Owen, Kightly, Wilkinson, Jerome.

The Tottenham team is: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Caulker, Vertonghen, Lennon, Huddlestone, Parker, Dempsey, Bale, Adebayor. Subs: Friedel, Naughton, Defoe, Dembele, Sigurdsson, Holtby, Carroll.

1300
Jason Kane: "Come on you Spurs, we have to win today to keep the dream alive, Bale will fire us to victory!"

1255
Philip Humphris writes: "Hi Chris, these two normally dish up a entertaining game so looking forward to an end to end game with goals at both ends. Here's hoping for a Stoke win 3-2."

1250
Understandably, Tottenham are the 5/6 favourites with Sky Bet to win today's game while Stoke are 7/2 and the draw is 13/5. Sky Bet have price boosted a 1-0 victory for the hosts to 10/1 and a 2-0 win for Spurs to 9/1, which happens to be my tip today. Gareth Bale is a rather generous 4/1 to net the first goal while some of you might be tempted to back Peter Crouch at 10/1. There's plenty of markets on offer so head to Sky Bet to place your pre-match and in-running bets.

1245
Two wins and a draw from their last three games eased the Potters relegation fears following a very poor second half of the campaign so you'd expect them to be the more relaxed side this lunchtime but given what's at stake for their opponents, you'd think Spurs will want it more.

1240
Visitors Spurs are obviously in desperate need of all three points as they look to boost their hopes of achieving a top-four spot this season while Stoke will want to celebrate their 150th anniversary in style with what would be a surprise victory.

1230
Good afternoon and welcome to our live text commentary from today's clash between Stoke and Tottenham at the Britannia Stadium. Send in your pre-match thoughts to me at christopher.hammer@bskyb.com.

Premier League Fixtures

Sunday, 28 December 2014
12:00
Tottenham v Man Utd
14:05
So'ton v Chelsea
15:00
A Villa v S'land
Hull City v Leicester
Man City v Burnley
QPR v C Palace
Stoke v W Brom
West Ham v Arsenal
16:15
Newcastle v Everton
Monday, 29 December 2014
20:00
Liverpool v Swansea
Thursday, 01 January 2015
12:45
Stoke v Man Utd  
15:00
A Villa v C Palace  

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