Leicester City vs Tottenham
Venue: King Power Stadium
Referee: Craig Pawson
TV: BT Sport 1
Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side will look to consolidate their position inside the top four this weekend as they travel to the King Power to face a Leicester side unbeaten in six Premier League games.
The visitors bounced back well during the week and comfortably brushed aside Southampton at Wembley. As for the hosts, they visited their former manager Claudio Ranieri and managed to pick up a point in a 1-1 draw despite a disappointing performance.
The Foxes are on a run of six Premier League games unbeaten (W2 D4) and will be hoping to cause an upset on Saturday evening. It is the first time that Leicester have gone on a six-match unbeaten run since they won the league but continuing this run will be a difficult task against an effective Spurs side.
Spurs have 12 Premier League away victories in 2018 and have won seven from nine this campaign. They will also likely be buoyed by the fact Chelsea host Manchester City before them on Saturday and if the Blues drop points, their London rivals will be able to pull further away from them with a win.
Head to Head: The teams have met a total of 110 teams with Spurs having the considerable edge over the Foxes with 54 wins in comparison to 35 for Leicester. There have been 21 draws between the two and if last season’s 5-4 win at Wembley for Spurs is anything to go by, we are in for another spectacular here.
Leicester City: Despite being unbeaten in six, Puel’s side have registered just four wins in 14 league games at the King Power since the beginning of February. This is a slight worry for Puel and he will be looking to put out his strongest side for the fixture. The fitness of Jamie Vardy is still a worry though as he remains troubled with a groin injury. The striker has scored four and assisted three in his last seven appearances against Spurs so his absence would be a huge loss for Puel and his men.
Leicester may be boosted though with the return of England international, Harry Maguire, who has been absent since Leicester’s trip to Cardiff in early November. Another centre-half is also close to return in Jonny Evans yet the duo will likely face late fitness tests ahead of the clash.
Tottenham: Pochettino will no doubt be torn ahead of the trip to Leicester as he also has to consider a trip to the Nou Camp during the week to face Barcelona in a crunch European tie. A win would see Tottenham to 36 points though which would represent their best record after 16 top-flight games since 1960/61 and with qualification to the next stage of the Champions League extremely in the balance, Poch may favour a win against Leicester to further stamp their authority in the Premier Leagues top four.
Harry Kane, who is in fact an ex Leicester player, has scored 13 goals in 11 games against the Foxes in all competitions. This is more than he has against any other side and 7 of these have come in his last 3 fixtures against them. With this in mind, there is no doubt the star man will start; it would be no surprise to see a recall for Deli Alli too who will likely line up alongside Eriksen and Son.
With Mousa Dembele, Erik Lamela and Harry Winks all sidelined for Spurs, Pochettino was given a further blow when right back Kieran Tripper limped off against Southampton although Pochettino does have cover for the England international in Serge Aurier, who will likely start at the KP. Jan Vertonghen is back available after serving his one-match suspension.
Predicted Starting XI’s
Leicester City (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel; Pereira, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell; Ndidi, Mendy; Albrighton, Maddison, Gray; Iheanacho
Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Lloris, Aurier, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Davies; Sissoko, Dier; Son, Eriksen, Alli; Kane
Score Prediction: Leicester City 1 Tottenham 2
Since the Foxes returned to England’s top flight in 2014, this fixture has produced 34 goals and this is only second to Arsenal vs Liverpool during that period. In 2017, Spurs enjoyed a 6-1 win in this fixture and considering there has only been one goalless draw between the two sides in 110 matches, there will no doubt be goals in this one too. If Pochettino elects to play a strong side, then they should have enough to ease past a fearless Leicester side.