Tottenham and Leicester City face each other for the third time in two weeks, as the teams rally their troops for a third round FA Cup face off.  With one draw and a loss, Pochettino’s side will look to right the wrongs by snatching a victory against the Foxes.

In a game that saw Leicester almost snatching away the victory, Harry Kane was the man called upon to salvage a replay against the Foxes who ran amok their defense. With the two teams that have been surprise performers this season, only one can go ahead to the fourth round of the oldest football competition.

Having played thrice already this season, two games have ended in a hard fought draw and the most recent one with Leicester snatching away all three points. However this FA cup clash will be important to the two sides as they both look to stay alive in the competition.

Managerial Tactics

Claudio Ranieri

Counter Attacking 4-4-2 is the way to go

Counter Attacking 4-4-2 is the way to go

Ranieri is one of the managers who looks to bring back the 4-4-2 formation that was done away with a few seasons ago. He has taken the premier league by storm by using a team that is usually labelled as mediocre and transformed them into a giant slaying title contender.

With a direct end to end style of play, the likes of Vardy and Mahrez have hugely benefited with less possession intensive and more on-the-edge counter attacking style of play. Schmeichel has been a key factor in their success too. Partnering with Morgan and former Chelsea defender Huth, the Leicester defence line has been quite solid in their performance.

However it is their forward line that has been an impressive force. Vardy, Mahrez as well as Albrighton who have all been stand out performers will most likely be benched for this game however. Having to face Stoke in the next fixture, Ranieri will most likely play Dyer, Inler and Gray in their place.

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Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur vs AFC Sunderland

Pochettino a strict believer in high work rate

Pochettino would be quite reluctant to accept defeat as he prepares for this upcoming game against Leicester City away from home. With his famous 4-2-3-1 formation, Tottenham will look to play their usual possession game. Pochettino will be obligated to play some of his key players as he looks to snatch a victory and progress to the next round of the cup.

With Dier playing in the defensive midfield role, Tottenham will have the much needed cover for the back two as Walker and Davies will look to play a more attacking role. Kane will most probably be included to play this game as Tottenham require the much needed fire power up front. Carroll, Son and Onomah will come in for Eriksen, Lamela and Dembele.

With two different philosophies in play, only one side will emerge victorious. The Tottenham side’s confidence riding high following their victory against Sunderland will give them an edge over Leicester City who looked lethargic against Aston Villa. Tottenham will be favourites to beat the foxes but only by a slim margin.

Key Battles

Kante vs DierTottenham Hotspur v Leicester City

Although the two players will not exactly lock horns in a battle against each other throughout the game. The two defensive midfielders will be key performing their respective roles to ensure the opponents attacking threat is stopped at the half line itself.

Kante has been an exceptional and raked up an abysmal number of tackles and interceptions, Dier on the other hand has been a key reason to Tottenham’s stellar defensive record. The team’s success will largely depend on how well the two provide cover for each other’s back line.

Davies vs Mahrez

The talented Mr. Mahrez

The talented Mr. Mahrez

As Pochettino rotates his players for this fixture, one position that he would not be worried about would be his left wing back. With both Rose and Davies performing exceptionally, Pochettino will be sure that the Welsh defender will be more than capable of handling Mahrez. However, Mahrez is no softy, with a lethal left foot, he will be tough to keep as his pace and precision might be a little too tiresome for Davies who is a shade slower than the Algerian.

Okazaki vs Alderweireld

Toby Tottenham's Anchor man

Toby Tottenham’s Anchor man

The Japanese international has been exceptional since he came into the side for the injured Jamie Vardy. Partnered with Gray, Leicester’s new acquisition, Okazaki might be a handful for the Belgian to handle. Alderweireld on the other hand has made all the difference for Spurs this season.

His inclusion has brought in the much needed defensive solidity that the team lacked in the last few season. With his inclusion, the partnership of Alderweireld and Vertonghen has been hugely beneficial for the team to concede the least number of goals in the season. This battle will be key to which of the two team will profit.

Leicester City

Aston Villa vs Leicester City

Strengths

  • Leicester’s counter attacking style of play is an advantage against sides like Tottenham which play with a high line of defense.
  • Leicester has already won against the Tottenham squad and know exactly how to capitalise on their weakness.

Weakness

  • From their weekend clash with Aston Villa it is quite evident that Leicester is in dire need of some fresh legs. The lack of fit players even though none injured might cause them to concede.
  • Overreliance on Vardy, Okazaki and Mahrez could be an issue. The three players have been without a doubt stand out performers for the club. Without two of these three, it might be difficult for Leicester to grab a convincing victory.

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur v Anderlecht

Strengths

  • One of the reasons why Tottenham have been so successful this season is due to their remarkable defensive performances. Having conceded the least number of goals in the league, the North London side is a tough opponent to score against.
  • Tottenham in most of their games have enjoyed majority of the ball possession. This has not only helped Spurs in their attacking play, but has also ensured the opponent has lesser time on the ball to make any attacking moves.
  • One of the biggest changes that Pochettino has brought about with the Tottenham side is the improvement in the team’s fitness. A side that was well known for losing games after the 80th minute, Tottenham’s players are now able to play the whole game and maybe more without running out of gas.

Weakness

  • One of Tottenham’s weakness is that they are unable to score many goals against the bigger sides. Although the team boasts of a very healthy goal difference, the goals scored is somewhat of an uncertainty.
  • Tottenham’s love for draws has put them at a place lot lower than what their performance reflects. Although the fact that draws are better than losses, no team has won a league with more draws than victories.

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