Mark Hughes admits he cannot rule out Stoke City being thumped by Tottenham once again on Sunday.
Stoke have been thrashed 4-0 at home by Spurs in each of the last two meetings between the clubs.
The most recent came last September during a sequence in which Hughes' team failed to win any of their opening seven Premier League games of the season.
But Hughes said: "We have improved markedly since that game (in September).
"I would be very surprised if the result was the same - although there is a possibility, because they are a good side.
"But we'll have to make sure we play well to make sure that doesn't happen.
"I would imagine if we start brightly, then that is the key to it. Hopefully we'll be nice and bright, sharp and ready to go."
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Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has admitted his team's confidence may have taken a dip after watching them succumb to their second defeat in a week.
After Liverpool ended their 11-game unbeaten run with a 2-0 win at Anfield at the weekend, an out-of-sorts Spurs were dealt a blow in another competition when they were beaten 1-0 at Gent in the Europa League last-32 first leg.
Jeremy Perbet scored the winner for the Belgians just before the hour mark, shortly after Harry Kane had struck the outside of a post and Mousa Dembele scuffed wide when well placed.
Pochettino told BT Sport 3:
Until the Liverpool game we are on a good run. It's true that maybe our confidence has dropped a little bit but today was a different competition and we tried to win the game, we tried to find the way to score goals.
We have some clear chances to score and we are disappointed because we had a lot of opportunities, two or three very clear, before we concede a goal.
It's true that maybe it was not a good performance. It wasn't the best game but we created chances to try to score but we can not score.
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