Stoke are boring and sometimes dirty. They are detestable. They are soul suckers. They are lots of things, and right now one of those things is good.
Yes, Stoke are good. They are unbeaten in their last seven and boast the Premier League's best defense. It's a defense that has given up almost half the number of goals that Tottenham Hotspur this season and haven't given up multiple goals in a match since October 20. What did we, as a society, do to deserve this?
Luckily, Spurs are also playing well heading into Saturday's clash with the Potters. Tottenham have won four of their last five and get Gareth Bale back from a hamstring injury back this weekend. Those endless spells of possession without a man capable of breaking down a compact defense are over thanks to the return of the Welsh Wizard. Or they will be more frustrating because 1v11 is difficult. But it's different!
Bale's mind will be a little bit more at ease this weekend, too, because he will not have to face his personal wrecking ball, Charlie Adam. There is no good in Adam's missing out, though. Adam is missing the match because of the death of his father, so there is no good in this, but his absence will keep Bale in one piece.
There isn't a lot to break down in this match, because there isn't much to break down in any Stoke match. They do what they do, which is boring, but effective. Can Spurs break them down? With Bale, they have a chance, but expect more of last week's dour nonsense with the hope that one good moment or two can break the monotony. Stoke!