Thursday, September 21, 2017

Leicester City v Tottenham: Pochettino wary of in-form hosts

SoccerNews in English Premier League 20 Aug 2015

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Leicester City find themselves in illustrious company at the top of the Premier League following their first two games of the season.

Ahead of Saturday’s clash with Tottenham at the King Power Stadium, Claudio Ranieri’s side are one of just four teams – along with Liverpool and the two Manchester clubs – to have claimed maximum points so far.

A 4-2 win over Sunderland and a 2-1 victory at West Ham have provided Leicester with a firm foundation upon which to build as they bid to avoid a similar relegation scrap to last season.

The Midlands club, who brought in Swiss international Gokhan Inler this week, are on a run of four home victories in the league and have not won five on the bounce in the top flight since 1984.

In addition, Leicester have never opened a season in the top division with three victories, meaning Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino is expecting a tough encounter.

“They’ve started very well,” he said. “I think they played very well last season, they signed some very good players, got good organisation.

“Ranieri has a lot of experience in football and they’ve started the season very well.

“We expect a very tough game against Leicester.”

Pochettino should feel relatively confident heading to Leicester, with Harry Kane having netted a hat-trick in a 4-3 win when the sides last met at White Hart Lane back in March. 

But Tottenham have just one point from their opening two fixtures – losing 1-0 at Manchester United before squandering a two-goal advantage in a 2-2 home draw with Stoke City last weekend.

And, while he is generally happy with his team’s performances, Pochettino believes there is plenty of room for improvement.

“The Premier League is very long and we need to keep the same level,” he added. “We need to improve in areas like the defence and we need to be more consistent.

“I think everyone says that we need an offensive player but we need to be more consistent because we conceded a lot of goals last season and scoring wasn’t our problem.

“The problem was that we concede a lot of goals and that’s something that we need to improve this season.”

Leicester are without Matty James (knee), while Andros Townsend (ankle) remains a doubt for Tottenham, who could include forward Clinton N’Jie – signed from Lyon last weekend – for the first time.

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