Just three days after they played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in the FA Cup third round, Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City will again square off at White Hart Lane, but there will be much more at stake this time out as the two sides are direct rivals for top 4 positions, something that looked virtually impossible before the season started.
Heavy investment into the playing squad over the years did not exactly pay off for Tottenham owners, as Spurs just could not break into the top 4, often failing to live up to the expectations. But, club bosses decided to stick with Mauricio Pochettino in spite of the far-from-impressive first season and that has proved to be a very good decision. The continuity is proving very important at the moment and Tottenham have not only raised their game, but they seem much more consistent than in recent years, with star striker Harry Kane quickly proving the doubters wrong after he had endured a slow start to the current campaign. The England hotshot has been in stunning form over the last couple of months, bagging 13 goals in last 15 outings, and it was his late penalty goal that secured a replay as Leicester City had come really close to winning at the Lane. With several important players back to the side and Spurs very motivated to defeat their top 4 rivals, another entertaining encounter appears on the cards.
The likes of Harry Kane, Jan Vertonghen, Hugo Lloris and Dele Alli will be among the first team regulars returning to the starting line-up for Wednesday’s clash.
Meanwhile, Moussa Dembele, Clinton N’Jie, Ryan Mason and Alex Pritchard are not yet ready to leave the White Hart Lane infirmary.
Leicester City may be on the downtrend after the remarkable start to the season, but it would appear as though Claudio Ranieri’s side have no intention of leaving the Champions League positions any time soon. The amazing run of results was always going to come to an end at some stage, but the most important thing is that the Foxes do not seem fazed by increased expectations, but rather continue to exhibit traits that saw them climb to the Premier League summit. After giving a good account of themselves in the goalless draw with Man City, Leicester City were somewhat unfortunate not to defeat Bournemouth at home, but the FA Cup clash against Spurs proved their confidence was not shaken. Even the under-strength side gave Tottenham a run for their money at the Lane and would have recorded a deserved victory if it hand’t been for the shocking penalty awarded to the hosts late into the game. Now that talismanic winger Riyad Mahrez and few other regular starters return, the Foxes can be trusted to produce another strong performance in North London.
Riyad Mahrez, Marc Albrighton, Danny Drinkwater, Wes Morgan and Danny Simpson are all back to the starting line-up after they were rested three days ago.
Star striker Jamie Vardy is out through a groin injury, with Jeffrey Schlupp and Matty James also unavailable for selection.
Key Factors to Consider
- Both teams have scored in last 11 meetings between Spurs and Leicester
- Last seven matches between the two sides produced 32 goals
- Spurs have won five of last eight home fixtures (D2 L1)
- Leicester netted 14 times in last six matches on the road
- Kane and Mahrez scored 19 goals between them in last 11 league outings
If you had backed both teams to score in each of last 11 meetings between Spurs and Leicester City, you would have turned a nice profit and we have no reason to believe that the trend is not going to continue. While Tottenham have been in fine form, their opponents appear to have recovered from a dip in form, meaning we should see another entertaining encounter at the Lane.
Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 5/6