Tottenham Hotspur host Leicester City as both teams look to get back to winning ways in the Premier League.
Third-placed Tottenham faces fourth-placed Leicester City on Sunday – a match between two teams that are separated by a mere point. A game that has high-stakes and promises a lot of excitement.
Tottenham’s 11-game unbeaten run came to an end in a narrow defeat to Liverpool, which saw them lose their position at the top of the table. It was a game where Spurs had an ample number of good chances but failed to capitalise on them, only to succumb to a 90th minute Roberto Firmino header.
After a comprehensive victory versus Brighton, many expected a better performance from Leicester City versus Everton in midweek. However, Brendan Rodgers’ men were completely outplayed by the Toffees.
Leicester now travel to Tottenham, boasting a remarkable away record, having registered impressive wins against Man City, Leeds and Arsenal, all on the road. It would be criminal to write them off despite their underdog status.
Only five points separate 3rd place from 10th place, so a loss for either of these teams could see them out of the top four spots and fall down to the mid-table.
Team News & Tactics
Tottenham have an excellent record against Leicester in recent times, winning six of the past 10 meetings with just three defeats across all competitions. In the Premier League, they are unbeaten at home against the Foxes in the past four meetings since a 1-0 defeat in January 2016.
Mourinho confirmed in his press conference that there are no new injuries in the Tottenham camp and also delivered some good news as Gareth Bale has resumed training after a two-game absence due to illness. The Welshman trained for two consecutive days and is likely to make the Spurs bench, especially with the new rule of 9 bench spots. Erik Lamela, too trained with the first-team but still is far from featuring in white again.
Tottenham are expected to field the usual culprits in this important game. Sergio Reguilon is expected to come in for Ben Davies after resting versus Liverpool. Tanguy Ndombele should also come in for Giovani Lo Celso in midfield.
Steven Bergwijn is expected to be benched after his disappointing performance versus Liverpool and Lucas Moura, who has not started a Premier League game since matchday 3, is expected to feature instead.
It will be an entertaining midfield battle as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg will go head to head versus Wilfred Ndidi. The Harry Kane-Son Heung-min duo should start yet again and a big performance is expected from them yet again as their record against the Foxes is one to watch out for.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Lloris; Reguilon, Dier, Alderweireld, Aurier; Hojbjerg, Sissoko, Ndombele; Son, Kane, Moura
Leicester City switched from their back-three system to a back-four versus Everton, and in the absence of an able left-back, the system did not quite work. Brendan Rodgers is expected to switch back to the 3-4-2-1 system they have used this season effectively and look to stretch Tottenham as much as possible.
Jonny Evans returns from a one-match suspension, while Timothy Castagne has reportedly been declared fit along with Daniel Amartey as well. A spot on the bench is guaranteed for Castagne, however, Rodgers could be tempted in throwing the Belgian straight into the mix. Ricardo Pereira and Caglar Soyuncu remain sidelined, leaving Leicester in a difficult position at the back.
Rodgers has confirmed that Castagne has recovered from his hamstring injury and will travel to Tottenham for what will be his first game in eight weeks.
A big boost. He had been one of our best performers, scoring on his debut and setting up 3 goals in the following 2 wins #LCFC
— ComeOnLeicester.com (@Come0nLeicester) December 17, 2020
Meanwhile, Wilfred Ndidi is expected to come back from centre-back to central midfield, while James Maddison, who was very poor versus Everton, is expected to start as a left attacking midfielder, alongside Harvey Barnes. There is no looking past Jamie Vardy leading the attack for the Foxes.
Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Schmeichel; Fuchs, Evans, Fofana; Castagne, Ndidi, Tielemans, Justin; Maddison, Barnes; Vardy
- Both Teams to Score – YES @ 1.66
- Son Heung-min to score anytime @ 2.62
- Tottenham have won five of their last seven Premier League meetings with Leicester (L2), netting 21 goals across these games.
- Leicester striker Jamie Vardy has scored 18 goals in his last 18 away Premier League appearances. Vardy has scored away Premier League goals against Spurs at White Hart Lane and Wembley and will be the first player to score away goals against an opponent on three different grounds if he scores against them in this match.
- Tottenham’s Harry Kane has scored 14 goals in just 10 Premier League appearances against Leicester, more than he has netted versus any other opponent in the competition. Only Sergio Agüero (15 vs Newcastle for Man City) has scored more goals for a single club against a specific opponent in the competition’s history.
- Leicester have won just one of their last nine Premier League away games against Tottenham (D2 L6), winning 1-0 at White Hart Lane in their 2015/16 title-winning campaign.
- Tottenham have only failed to score once in their last 20 Premier League meetings with Leicester, doing so in a 0-1 home loss in January 2016.
Player to Watch
Despite the presence of Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane, who have a phenomenal record against their opponents, it is Heung-Min Son who is tipped to be the one that makes a striking difference in this game. Son has scored a goal or assisted one in all but one of his last five Premier League appearances
A talented and hard-working player, the South Korean international is expected to repeat his strong showings and be the difference between these two well-placed teams.
Tottenham 2-0 Leicester
Tottenham boast one of the Premier League’s best defensive records this season and it is unlikely that Leicester will able to breach through it. The Foxes are most lethal on counter-attacks, versus a high-line. However, that kind of space in behind the Tottenham defence is something that won’t be easily available on Sunday. Thus, The Hard Tackle predicts Jose Mourinho’s side to return to winning ways.