Fuller facing fitness fight

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Fuller: Crucial to Stoke's cause

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Stoke boss Tony Pulis will make a late check on the fitness of Ricardo Fuller ahead of Sunday's clash with Tottenham.

The influential striker has been away on international duty with Jamaica, helping breathe new life into his country's World Cup qualifying campaign as he played a leading role in victories over Mexico and Honduras.

However, his heroics for his homeland could see him ruled out of domestic action this weekend.

Fuller has experienced problems on his return to the Britannia Stadium in the past and his manager is wary of fielding a player who may not be ready for action.

Jet lag

Pulis said: "I hope Ric comes back safe and sound and full of life, but it's been a big week for him and we will have to assess how much he's got left in his tank.

"He's made some long plane journeys and there's an eight or nine hour time difference from where he's been. Ric's biological clock is a big worry.

"We've had problems when he's been away before. The last time he came back from international duty he had picked up a virus and it took him a couple of weeks to get going again.

"On the plus side, he scored a great goal against Mexico and he should be on a high. As I said, we will take a look at him and make a late decision."


The weekend encounter with Spurs will see the bottom two sides in the Premier League go head-to-head, with both teams finding the going tough so far this season.

Tottenham's plight has come as the greater surprise, and Pulis is convinced someone will feel a backlash from Juande Ramos' team in the near future.

He said: "Their luck will change at some stage. I've watched Spurs twice, at Portsmouth and against Hull, and they were the better side in both games.

"They had most of the play at Portsmouth, but missed their chances. Against Hull they dominated the game and were very unfortunate to lose.

"I know people will say it is a good time to play them when they are down, but they've got a fantastic squad of players and we are under no illusions. This is going to be a very tough game."