Tottenham Team News: Captain To Return Against Stoke City

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Spurs boss Tim Sherwood hints at a start for Michael Dawson and urges his players to shake hands with Potters bad boy Charlie Adam.

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Tottenham Hotspur captain Michael Dawson could make his first start in seven weeks in Saturday’s Premier League clash with Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.

The England international has made just one substitute appearance since injuring his hamstring in the 4-0 defeat at Chelsea on March 8.

Although he is not believed to be 100 per cent fit, Dawson has trained fully this week.

He is likely to be called upon by Spurs boss Tim Sherwood because first-choice centre-back Jan Vertonghen is sidelined with an ankle problem.

Sherwood told Tottenham’s official club website: “Michael has made good progress and will be in the squad.”

Dawson has made 38 first-team appearances for Spurs this season. The North Londoners have kept clean sheets in 17 of those matches.

Etienne Capoue, Kyle Walker and Erik Lamela are all certain to miss the Potters clash, while Mousa Dembele is a doubt due to an ankle injury.

The match is expected to host a midfield battle between Paulinho and Charlie Adam, who caused the Brazilian ankle ligament damage with a crunching tackle in the reverse fixture at White Hart Lane in December.

Adam was already an unpopular figure among Spurs fans, having tackled Gareth Bale in less than polite fashion on multiple occasions.

It has been suggested that some Tottenham players may refuse to shake hands with Adam before the game in Staffordshire, but Sherwood would be disappointed to see his players snub the Scotland midfielder.

He told Sky Sports: “The players will do their duty and shake hands along that line to show respect to their opposition.

“I haven’t heard the boys talking about Charlie Adam at all. They’re just concentrating on the game. I don’t think it’s a problem.

“I would hate to think that every time I tackled someone they’d never shake my hand – I would never have had a handshake.

“Listen, Charlie is a combative player and he tries to do his job the best that he possibly can. I like my players to do the same and sometimes you’re going to mistime them, but just get on with the game. It’s part and parcel of it, unfortunately.”

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