Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to keep the pressure on Liverpool and Manchester City when they welcome Leicester City to Wembley on Sunday.
Tottenham’s title chances were in doubt a few weeks back when they lost a couple of league games, notably to Manchester United at home. The sinking feeling was accentuated when Chelsea and Crystal Palace knocked them out of the Carabao Cup and FA Cup, respectively, in the same week.
However, since the loss to Manchester United in the league, Mauricio Pochettino’s men have won three games on the spin against Fulham, Watford and Newcastle United. While all three victories might have come courtesy some late goals, Spurs did show the grit and willingness to get three points.
Spurs now face a Leicester side which has been in some decent form against top six teams this season. To keep pressure on the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool, it is imperative for Tottenham to get all three points against the Foxes. With a game in hand on City, who lead them by five points, Pochettino will sense an opportunity, seeing as the champions face Chelsea later in the day.
Leicester City, on the other hand, have showcased some good form against the top six sides this season, although that is no reprise from their recent slump. The Foxes have endured a torrid time, losing four and drawing one of their last five games in all competitions, with the performances against Liverpool, City and Chelsea suggesting that they’re more suited to play against the bigger sides.
But, their recent loss to Cardiff City at home as well as to Manchester United have shown the inconsistent side of Claude Puel’s team this season, although the Leicester manager will be looking to get something out of the Spurs game. After 25 games, Leicester sit 12th on the table with 32 points, six away from the last final European position, which is currently occupied by Watford.
Team News & Tactics
Tottenham’s impressive form in the last three games has certainly ensured Harry Kane’s absence hasn’t cost them as much as it was expected, although the striker’s absence has seen Spurs become less prolific, surviving largely on late goals. Kane and Dele Alli though, are ahead of schedule on their recovery, having returned to training, although they will not make it to the Leicester game.
Son Heung-min, in particular has been in fine form, and Pochettino will look towards him to inspire another positive result. The South Korean has had a hand in 14 goals in his last 11 games, and hence the Tottenham boss should show no hesitation in choosing him ahead of anyone in the starting lineup.
However, the midweek Champions League game with Borussia Dortmund might also influence Pochettino while he selects his starting lineup. Meanwhile, Ben Davies is another player who will play no part, meaning Danny Rose should be the left-back.
Pochettino could look to rest a few key players for the Leicester City game and could switch back to a four-man defence as opposed to a three-man unit he has recently used. But, getting a result on Sunday is imperative as well, meaning Harry Winks and Christian Eriksen should start.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Rose; Sissoko, Winks; Lamela, Eriksen, Lucas; Son
Claude Puel has a couple of injury problems going into the Tottenham game. Marc Albrighton requires surgery for his hamstring problem, while Daniel Amartey has an ankle injury that keeps him out of the side as well.
New signing Youri Tielemans though, could be in contention for his first start for the Foxes and Puel could replace Demarai Gray, who has one goal and no assists in 17 games with the Belgian youngsters. With Harvey Barnes being deployed on the other flank, Leicester will look to sit narrow, with the width predominantly being provided by the full-backs.
Jamie Vardy is a certain starter upfront while James Maddison will play in the no. 10 role against Tottenham. Vardy, in particular, is a crucial player for Leicester against Spurs, with the English striker having a hand in seven goals in as many appearances against the North Londoners.
Puel could also make some changes in central midfield. One of the problems recently has been the selection of Nampalys Mendy, who has been ineffective and his flaws only covered by the brilliant Wilfried Ndidi. Puel could bring in Hamza Choudhury in place of Mendy while retaining a two-man central midfield unit.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel; Pereira, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell; Choudhury, Ndidi; Tielemans, Maddison, Barnes; Vardy
Both Teams to Score – YES @ 1.80
- Tottenham have won three of their last four Premier League games against Leicester City (L1), winning the previous two in a row.
- Leicester have won just one of their last 11 Premier League away games in London (D4 L6).
- Tottenham have not won three consecutive league matches versus the Foxes since February 1987.
- Tottenham have set a new Premier League record of going 29 Premier League games without a single draw.
- Tottenham have lost three of their five Sunday Premier League games this season (W2).
Player to Watch
Like against Newcastle, the focus is on Son to help keep Tottenham’s hopes for the Premier League title alive. The South Korean forward has been instrumental this season for Spurs, especially during Harry Kane’s extended absence. The 26-year-old has had a hand in 14 goals in the last 11 games he’s started, scoring 10 and assisting four.
With Kane still absent and Leicester City posing as an unusual threat to his side’s title ambitions, it could be Son who might come in to make the difference yet again. For now, all Mauricio Pochettino needs is goals from his side, and Son Heung-min looks like the biggest outlet in that regard.
Tottenham 2-1 Leicester City
When it comes to head-to-head record in recent times, Tottenham have won their last three games against the Foxes, although given Leicester’s form this season against top six sides this season, we could be in for a tricky fixture. However, Spurs have already recorded an impressive 2-0 win over their opponents on the road this season, and with a title challenge to fight for, they might just do it again.
Given Leicester’s recent slump in form, Tottenham could further heap pressure on Claude Puel with yet another win over the Foxes. Leicester though, are strong and could spring a surprise as they showed against Chelsea and Manchester City. But, the hosts will be aware of Leicester’s approach and might just walk away with all three points to keep their title challenge alive.