Stoke hopeful Zouma, Diouf can return for Tottenham clash

Soccer Football - Premier League - Stoke City vs Everton - bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Britain - March 17, 2018 Stoke City's Kurt Zouma reacts Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes

(Reuters) - Stoke City hope defender Kurt Zouma and striker Mame Biram Diouf can recover from their injuries in time for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur, manager Paul Lambert said.

Zouma, who is on loan at the club from defending champions Chelsea, missed last weekend’s 3-0 defeat by Arsenal with a knee injury while Diouf picked up a knock and limped off after an hour in that game.

“Kurt trained this morning, which is positive, but we’ll have to see how he is over the next 24 hours, while Mame hasn’t been able to train because of a kick he received at the weekend,” Lambert told reporters on Thursday.

Forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (groin) and defender Kostas Stafylidis (rib) are also recovering from injury and are doubts for the visit of Mauricio Pochettino’s fourth-placed side.

“Choupo-Moting is still missing and we have one or two other little issues too, but right now the biggest doubts are over Kurt and Mame...It’s been a frustrating period,” Lambert said.

Stoke are second from bottom with 27 points from 32 games and face an uphill task to ensure their survival.

The Staffordshire-based club, who have already yielded a league-high 61 goals this season, have lost to Tottenham by a four-goal margin in their last four meetings.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Heinrich