Our preview of the EPL encounter between Tottenham and defending champions Leicester.
Tottenham’s League Cup defeat to Liverpool was another in a series of disappointing performances from the North London side. Yet to taste defeat in the Premier League, their title push has been offset by a litany of frustrating draws that Mauricio Pochettino will be looking to correct this weekend.
Leicester finally shook off their disastrous start to their title defense and defeated a resurgent Palace convincingly. They will understandably have one eye on European progression in Copenhagen next week, which could present Spurs with a golden opportunity to break their winless run of four matches in all competitions.
English Premier League | Saturday 29 October | White Hart Lane | 16:00
To Win (90 mins)
Tottenham 13/20 | Draw 29/10 | Leicester 17/4
It’s kind of hard to believe that the last time Spurs tasted the sweet nectar of victory was in that thrilling display against Manchester City. Pochettino has perhaps now fully realized the value of Harry Kane in his absence.
Vincent Janssen has been fairly ineffective in my opinion thus far, looking labored on the ball despite some fairly nifty ball control. Son Heung-min will come back into the team this week and will look to move Robert Huth and Wes Morgan around the park. Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli will also be assimilated back into the side. Alli’s expert retention of possession was sorely missed at Anfield on Tuesday night.
It seems as if the injury to Toby Alderweireld wasn't as severe as initially anticipated. The 27-year-old Belgian is unlikely to feature in the starting 11, however, with Eric Dier continuing to deputize for him. Moussa Sissoko's frankly sadistic elbow on Harry Arter was rightfully sighted this week. He accepted the violent conduct charge and will not be available this week. Moussa Dembele may come back into a side that will likely revert to a more traditional 4-2-3-1 formation, especially giving Leicester City’s propensity for counterattacking. Victor Wanyama hasn’t shown the necessary discipline in that sweeper role to justify trying to contain the likes of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez.
Leicester City know that a point in Copenhagen next week will see them progress to the knockout stage of the Champions League. Even now, months after their triumph, that sentence seems surreal to construct. Considering their near impregnable status in the group, I think Claudio Ranieri will be earmarking this as a chance to really get some momentum back into their flagging league campaign.
Ahmed Musa and Christian Fuchs both scored stunners against Palace last week, giving the King Power a little acid flashback of their sterling run from last year. The Foxes will need to pierce a miserly defensive system this weekend while Vardy continues to struggle in front of goal.
I expect that they may keep Islam Slimani in tow for a tough, physical European encounter next week. Musa and Vardy will aim to exploit Spurs if they do play with Pochettino’s 4-1-4-1 system. Leverkusen created acres of space with Wanyama wandering about lie a tourist, but I suspect that Leicester may be confronted with a more circumspect 4-2-3-1 system, with Dembele aiming to surge through the heart of the side.
I do think that their defense may struggle with the dynamic movement offered by Alli, Eriksen and Son. Huth and Morgan have looked slightly more vulnerable to one on one situations this season and Spurs have a plethora of players who can isolate big central defenders.
Verdict: Tottenham Win (13/20)
Spurs have been impressive at home and will look to take advantage of a Leicester side that will no doubt have one eye on the Champions League.
Written by Damien Kayat @Hollywoodbets