No split loyalties for Spurs old boy Crouch

3 min

London (AFP)

Stoke City striker Peter Crouch will have no qualms derailing Tottenham Hotspur's Premier League title bid when the two teams meet despite some residual loyalty to his former club.

Victory for second-placed Spurs will see them close to within five points of leaders Leicester City with just four games of the season remaining.

Former England striker Crouch understands why Leicester, 5,000/1 rank outsiders to lift the Premier League trophy before the season started, are now the team most neutral fans would love to see crowned champions of England.

But the giant forward has a special affection for Spurs, who haven't won the English title since 1961, after spending two seasons with the north London club before joining the Potters.

However, the 35-year-old Crouch was adamant that what mattered most to him in football terms right now was helping Stoke bounce back from last week's 4-1 defeat by Liverpool, another of his former clubs, where he made his first start since February 2.

"I would love to see Tottenham win the Premier League," Crouch told #pottersmag.

"Obviously it would be incredible if Leicester were to do it too for so many reasons, but for me, having spent a good period of my career at White Hart Lane, I would like Spurs to nick it.

"First and foremost though we have to try and get the three points to get ourselves back on track following our defeat at Liverpool."

Tottenham maintained their title bid with an impressive 3-0 win over Manchester United last time out and manager Mauricio Pochettino, speaking before Leicester's 2-2 draw with West Ham United on Sunday, said: "We got 3-0 against United and the belief again for all the week to prepare for Stoke."

Manchester City will continue their push for a Champions League place at Newcastle United on Tuesday, in a match where a win for the hosts will see Rafael Benitez's side climb out of the bottom three following last weekend's 3-0 win over Swansea.

Wednesday sees all four FA Cup semi-finalists in action ahead of their knockout games at Wembley this weekend.

Everton players will find it tough to go easy in a Merseyside derby at Anfield that precedes their Cup clash with Manchester United, who continue their quest for a Champions League place at home to fellow Cup semi-finalists Crystal Palace.

Palace face Watford in the last four of the FA Cup, with the Hornets away to West Ham on Wednesday.

Meanwhile Arsenal will try to repair the "mental damage" manager Arsene Wenger said was done to their hopes of a top-four finish by a 1-1 draw at home to Palace when they face West Bromwich Albion at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

Fixtures (1900 GMT unless stated)

Monday: Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur

Tuesday: Newcastle United v Manchester City

Wednesday: Liverpool v Everton, Manchester United v Crystal Palace, West Ham United v Watford (1845 GMT)

Thursday: Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion (1845 GMT)