As this match draws around, Tottenham find themselves five points off the Premier League summit. That may not sound like a big deal but, when you consider that current leaders Manchester City were in exactly the same boat just a week ago, you realise that there could still be an incredible end to Spurs’ season. With their two main rivals having dipped in form recently, the North London side could still mount a title challenge – but they’ll need to take three points from games like this one.
By “this one”, we mean a home fixture with a Leicester City side that has inhaibited Premier League purgatory for well over a year now. Capable of stunning results – such as the 2-1 schooling of the defending champions on Boxing Day – they’ve also proved they can turn in frustratingly bad showings. The upshot is that this Leicester side seems safe from relegation, but is almost guaranteed to finish in the kind of mid-table slot that sees them never threatening to qualify for Europe.
Tottenham vs Leicester City Prediction: Tottenham 2-0 Leicester City
With recent wins over Chelsea and Manchester City, and a draw at Liverpool, Leicester have shown a tendency to raise their game when it comes to playing a more elite opponent. In that light, maybe Tottenham are the best team for them to be playing right now – not least in the absence of Spurs’ England internationals Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Eric Dier. However, in defeat at home to Manchester United last weekend, the Foxes again proved that the only thing consistent about them this season is their inconsistency. With Son Heung-min back and in excellent form, Spurs have what it takes to win this one.
Our recommended tip: More than 3.5 cards
Across 25 games, Leicester have the fourth-worst disciplinary record in the Premier League. They’ve seen numerous cards across the season, including a league-high four red. Away from home against a side that likes to keep the ball on the floor, it seems close to inevitable that they’ll stack up another few here. While Tottenham have generally been well-behaved this season, there is some needle between these sides – it’s not hard to see things spilling over and names being taken. Unibet have 29/20 on the total number of cards shown being greater than 3.5; those seem like reasonable odds.
The teams have met once already this season, early in December at the King Power Stadium. A then-struggling Leicester side seemed to have reached half-time with honours even, but Son notched the opener just before half time. Alli then added a second just before the hour mark and the comeback – so often a part of the Foxes’ game – was not to be seen. A less thrilling game than the 5-4 these sides shared at this stadium at the end of the 2017/18 season, for sure – but it was three valuable points for Spurs.
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Players to watch: Danny Rose & Ricardo Pereira
Spurs have had occasional brain freezes this season – losing at home to Wolves could end up being costly if they lose the league title narrowly. Therefore, they need to be awake to the danger Leicester can cause down their right-hand side. Left-back Rose has been one of the league’s in-form defenders – he’ll stay in position when needed, and provide attacking width when his side goes forward. He also possesses a spectacular long-range shot, which could come in handy here.
Pereira has flown under the radar to some extent since arriving at Leicester, but his stunning winner against Manchester City certainly won him some fans. Many of Leicester’s best attacks come when the Portuguese international doubles up with James Maddison, preventing defences from marking the winger out of the game, and the unfussy way he goes about his job makes him one of the unsung Premier League signings of the season.