May 12, 2013
Pulis focused only on Spurs
Team Stat Comparison
|Stoke City||Tottenham Hotspur|
|Goals for *||1.1||1.9|
|Goals against *||1.2||1.5|
|Last 5 home||L-W-L-L-D||W-W-W-D-L|
|Last 5 away||D-D-W-L-L||W-D-D-W-L|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Stoke City | Tottenham Hotspur|
|Stoke City||Tottenham Hotspur|
|3/15||H: West Ham United||3/16||H: Arsenal|
|3/23||A: Aston Villa||3/23||H: Southampton|
|3/29||H: Hull City||3/30||A: Liverpool|
|4/5||A: Chelsea||4/7||H: Sunderland|
|4/12||H: Newcastle United||4/12||A: West Bromwich Albion|
Tony Pulis believes the celebration of Stoke's 150th anniversary will be a wonderful occasion for the fans but does not want his players to be sidetracked.
The Potters will mark the occasion with a series of events before Sunday's clash against Tottenham at the Britannia Stadium, including a variety of on-field entertainment and a parade of more than 80 former players.
The likes of Sir Geoff Hurst and Gordon Banks are confirmed to appear in that group, and, while Pulis acknowledges how special it will be for supporters, he wants his side to focus on Spurs and nothing else.
"We're hoping we can put in a good performance. It's a big game for us as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the football club,'' he said.
"The club has a lot of stuff going on around the game but what we have to do is concentrate on giving Tottenham a run for their money.
"The celebrations will be good for the crowd but we won't see any of it - we'll be preparing in the dressing room.
"The big thing for us is to concentrate on the game and let everyone else enjoy the occasion.
"The important thing for me is the 90 minutes. When the whistle goes the supporters will want the players to be right on it and taking the game to Tottenham.''
Pulis has a series of decisions to make ahead of the visit of Spurs.
Midfielder Glenn Whelan (groin), Andy Wilkinson (back) and Marc Wilson (hamstring) are all close to contention, but may not be risked from the start as they look for full fitness.
Whelan and Wilkinson were ruled out of the visit to Sunderland on Monday but are likely to be available, while Wilson was replaced at half-time as a precaution.
Meanwhile, Andre Villas-Boas has called on Gareth Bale to end speculation about his future by signing a new contract with Tottenham.
Bale collected his Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year award after a remarkable season which has seen him score 30 times for club and country.
The award came less than two weeks after the Professional Footballers Association rewarded him for his efforts by naming him Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year.
The more accolades the Welshman receives, the more rumours persist about a potential departure to Real Madrid, who have been monitoring the forward's progress this season.
Bale is contracted until 2016, but the speculation will surely continue well in to the summer unless he pens a new deal with the club.
"It would be good for him (to sign a new contract),'' the Tottenham manager said. "I think he deserves it for the season he's had.
"Obviously we could put to bed every single speculation that's coming out.
"It would be excellent and I think a reward for what he has achieved this season.''
Midfielder Mousa Dembele is fit for Tottenham after recovering from a hamstring injury.
Aaron Lennon (hamstring) came off against Chelsea in midweek but is fit to play, according to Villas-Boas.
Midfielder Sandro (knee) and defensive duo Younes Kaboul (thigh) and William Gallas (calf) are unavailable.