Preview: Leicester City v Tottenham

Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham are at risk of falling behind the pack as they prepare for Tuesday’s Premier League clash against Leicester at the King Power Stadium.

Premier League
28 November 2017
Gameweek 14
Kick-off 21:45 (GMT+2)
Venue: King Power Stadium

Referee: A. Taylor
Assistants: G. Beswick A. Nunn
Fourth official: C. Kavanagh

Head-to-head summary

Leicester City 84 30 16 38
Tottenham 84 38 16 30

Previous encounter

Leicester 1-6 Tottenham (18/05/2017) Premier League

Leicester goalscorers: B. Chilwell (59′)
Tottenham goalscorers: H. Kane (25′, 63′, 88′), Son Heung-Min (36′, 71′)

Players to watch

Harry Kane got a hat-trick on his last visit to the King Power Stadium, and will fancy his chances of adding to the nine league goals he already has this season.

Riyad Mahrez has had a forgettable season so far, with just two goals to his name as the Foxes struggle to overcome mediocrity. The Algerian has had one foot out the door for a while now, but remains in the East Midlands. If he still wants a move to a bigger club, then some of his old magic against Spurs will help his cause.

Team form and quotes

Spurs were beaten only once in their first nine league matches, but have now lost twice in their last four to fall out of the Champions League places, behind Chelsea and Arsenal and with Liverpool and Burnley not far behind.

Hopes of a title charge, which was glimmering hopefully but pessimistically at the beginning of the season, will fade completely if they drop further off the pace.

“We need to believe and try to win games. If we don’t win [against Leicester] – it is difficult to be a contender,” Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino admitted in his pre-match press conference.

“It is true that there is a great gap between Manchester City and the rest of the contenders. Manchester City have improved a lot from last season. The gap is massive but we will see what happens.”

The Foxes, meanwhile, have won only three times all season, and find themselves 12th in the standings.

After a run of negative results early on, recent back-to-back wins over Swansea and Everton finally got some points in the bag, but they have drawn two and lost one of the three fixtures since.

Despite five teams sitting between them and the drop zone, another defeat could see them drop down to the edge of the bottom three.

Leicester manager Claude Puel is keen to test himself against another one of the title contenders, after being beaten 2-0 by Manchester City prior to their 1-1 draw with West Ham on Friday.

“They are a great team. We are playing against a strong team with good character and great quality. In every position, they have great players,” Puel told the press.

“We must try to play our own game and it will be good to see our progress under pressure against a good opponent. It’s a good challenge for us.”

Team news

The hosts are without defender Robert Huth and midfielder Matty James, with the duo only expected to return in early December from foot and Achilles injuries respectively.

For the visitors, defender Toby Alderweireld (hamstring) and midfielder Victor Wanyama (knee) are sidelined, and they are pencilled in to return around the new year.