Video of the Day: Stoke City vs Tottenham Hotspur, February 1976
Tottenham Hotspur travel to the Potteries to play Stoke City this evening in a Premier League match that may have a considerable bearing on where the league title ends up going this season. Should Spurs win, the pressure will increase just a little on the league leaders Leicester City. A failure to do so, however, will surely mean that the gap is too big to bridge with just five games of the season left to play and the club from the East Midlands will become the most unlikely champions that English football has ever seen.
Title challenges were not often on the agenda for Spurs during the 1970s. Two wins in the League Cup and one in the UEFA Cup was the club’s return on a decade of football, and when they traveled to The Victoria Ground on February 1976, Spurs were looking over their shoulders slightly at the relegation places. They went into this match in sixteenth place in a twenty-two team division, six points clear of third from bottom Burnley. Recent form had been patchy, and only a run of five straight wins towards the very end of the season would allow Spurs an eventual mid-table finish.
Stoke City, on the other hand, were still at the tail end of one of the club’s golden eras. League Cup winners three years earlier, Stoke went into this match in ninth place in the table, level on points with Newcastle United, Everton and Leicester City. They would go on to finish the season in twelfth place in the table, while Spurs would eventually climb to finish ninth, although the season after this Spurs would be relegated into the Second Division. Commentary comes from Hugh Johns.
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