Leicester City and Tottenham are set to lock horns at the King Power Stadium on Thursday in a rather inconsequential tie for either Premier League outfit.
Leicester City have managed to mount a very appreciable comeback in the Premier League to find themselves 11th on the Premier League table. And the Foxes could be in a great situation to achieve a top-half finish, if they are able to shock Tottenham on Thursday.
Tottenham, on the other hand, are guaranteed a second-place finish in the Premier League – an improvement on last season’s performance. However, Mauricio Pochettino’s men would be looking to end the season on a high and two wins from as many games could see Spurs finish with 86 points on the board – a remarkable tally for a runners-up.
We at The Hard Tackle take a closer look at the fixture.
Team News & Tactics
Leicester City FC
Wes Morgan and Robert Huth – the main centre-back pairing for almost the entirety of Leicester’s Premier League career post-promotion, are both doubts for the game, which could see Craig Shakespeare deploy Christian Fuchs in a central role.
However, Wilfred Ndidi could also be chosen to feature in the central defence. Ben Chilwell could be given a rare start if Fuchs is deployed centrally, with Yohan Benalouane to be the likely partner-in-crime.
Namaplys Mendy and Danny Drinkwater are both confirmed absentees as well, which is likely to give Daniel Amartey a chance to impress, before next campaign, as Shakespeare begins rebuilding the Foxes.
All eyes, though, will be on the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy and Kasper Schmeichel, all of whom are rumored to be linked with an exit from the club in the summer and the Tottenham fixture could be one of the last games any or all of the three players feature in a Leicester jersey in front of the King Power Stadium.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Schmeichel; Simpson, Benalouane, Fuchs, Chilwell; Mahrez, Ndidi, Amartey, Gray; Slimani, Vardy
Tottenham Hotspur FC
Tottenham have a host of injury issues, with Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Danny Rose all out, which puts Mauricio Pochettino in a fix as regards the shape and personnel at the back. Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen are guaranteed to start and Pochettino could revert to a back-four, with Dier and Davies on either side of the duo.
Pochettino is likely to name a rather unchanged lineup up ahead, with Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli all set to start. The players have shown no signs of letting up, having been the main core of Spurs’ success so far.
Harry Kane will be eyeing the Golden Boot trophy, though, with the English international just 2 goals behind Romelu Lukaku, who is on 24 goals, having played a game more than Kane.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Wanyama, Dembele; Heung-Min, Eriksen, Alli; Kane
1. Bogey Team – Tottenham have managed to beat Leicester only once in the last five matches in all competitions.
2. Leicester City have failed to score just once at home against Tottenham in the last 10 matchups – a 1-0 defeat in April, 2000.
3. Craig Shakespeare has the chance to write his name in the history books at Leicester. The Foxes have won all five Premier League home games under Shakespeare so far and the club has not won six top-flight games in a row since March, 1966.
4. Christian Eriksen is one assist away from equalling Darren Anderton’s record of assists (14) for a Spurs player in a single Premier League season.
5. Harry Kane has 22 goals and 6 assists in 28 Premier League games so far, with a contribution of at least one assist or goal every game.
Player to Watch
The Dane is already being tailed by some of the Elitist European clubs and a strong performance against Tottenham could further aid his chances of earning a big-money move to one of the suitors. Tottenham are brilliant in attack and are likely to test the Leicester custodian a number of times on Thursday.
The 30-year-old has already shown his ability on a number of occasions in the Premier League and Thursday could just be another instance.
Leicester City FC 2 – 2 Tottenham Hotspur FC
Both the clubs are adept in attack and are likely to trouble the opposition goal on the night. Tottenham and Leicester’s recent record of draws against each other, though, could see a recurrence and it is likely to be a scoring draw, with Harry Kane likely to get on the scoresheet.