Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City were last season’s two prime title challengers. Every football fan (and indeed non-football fans) knows how that story ended. Underdogs Leicester won the title despite 5000-1 odds and Spurs slipped incredibly to finish behind bitter North London rivals Arsenal.
Fast forward to the present day, and one of the sides is again challenging for the title, while the other is making great strides in the Champions League, but is failing to replicate this fully on the domestic scene. Spurs, while sitting in fifth position in the Premier League, are only one point off of top spot in what already looks an intriguing title challenge between as many as five or even six teams.
Reigning Champions Leicester on the other hand, have won three out of three Champions League games without conceding a goal, and are already assured of a Europa League spot but look a shoe-in for qualification to the knockout stages. No mean feat despite the weak nature of the group. Lying 12th in the league is by no means a disaster, and considering Leicester’s recent history (apart from VERY recent history) in the top flight of English football, most Foxes fans will be over the moon at this prospect, especially when coupled with a successful run in Europe.
Spurs have drawn two league blanks since their impressive 2-0 over Manchester City at the start of the month. A resilient and dogged West Brom side held them 1-1 at the Hawthorns, before a 0-0 draw away at Bournemouth preceded this week’s EFL Cup exit at Anfield. However, with Harry Kane approaching full fitness and Spurs still only a point off of the top, with other sides floundering; there is no need for the North London club to panic.
So far, domestically, Leicester have won three, drawn two and lost four. Over their last five games, they have beaten Burnley and Crystal Palace comfortably, drawn against Southampton, and lost heavily to Manchester United and Chelsea. This five game period is a microcosm of a mid-table side, picking up enough points but not beating the league’s big boys. However, such is the tight nature of the league, the Foxes are only four points off of Everton in 6th position.
Predicted line ups
Harry Kane remains side-lined for Spurs, and with Pochettino opting to field a rotated side at Anfield in the EFL Cup, those that started the last Premier League fixture at Bournemouth should be fresh and ready to go.
Tottenham Hotspur predicted starting XI:
Leicester City had no EFL Cup game this week, so will have enjoyed a full weeks rest since their last outing – a 3-1 success over Crystal Palace. Expect a similar side to be named to the XI which recorded that victory.
Leicester City predicted starting XI:
Harry Kane is the main absentee for Spurs, as he edges closer to full fitness. Moussa Sissoko serves a three match ban for violent conduct, and youngster Marcus Edwards is out injured.
New signing Nampalys Mendy remains side-lined for Leicester, but good news for Leicester fans is that Jamie Vardy is tipped to return to the starting XI for this one.
A tricky tie to predict, with two good sides going head to head, however, home advantage should nudge Spurs to victory, especially when considering Leicester’s indifferent form in the league. For Spurs to win they will need to find some firepower without Harry Kane in the side, something that they have struggled to do thus far. Despite Vardy’s return, Spurs will edge this one. Our prediction 2-1.
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