Tottenham Hotspur head into this vital fixture with a rather large cloud over their head. So far 2015 has been most unkind. Not only have they lost the Capital One Cup final with Chelsea and crashed out of the Europa League to Fiorentina, Mauricio Pochettino’s side have also lost serious ground in the race for the top four with defeats to Liverpool and Manchester United proving particularly galling. The loss to Liverpool was probably fair enough. Spurs played well, scored twice and were thwarted by Simon Mignolet, however, against United the Lily Whites looked devoid of inspiration and were carved apart three times in the first half alone.
Meanwhile, Leicester look up enviously of their rivals with the Foxes placed in last position with a massive seven points between them and 17th placed Sunderland. Their recent games have been close with defeats to Crystal Palace, Arsenal and Aston Villa all being decided by the one goal. Nigel Pearson’s should look no further than Burnley for inspiration in this fixture with Sean Dyche’s side trumping Manchester City 1-0 last Saturday. This is a vital game and Leicester need at least a point.
Pochettino has just the two injury worries ahead of this game with Ryan Mason currently a doubt after hurting his thigh. Roberto Soldado should miss out with a knee injury.
Nigel Pearson could have a fully fit squad to choose from if Dean Hammond can overcome his calf strain in time. The midfielder is a doubt for this one but the importance of the match may force an early comeback.
Match Stats from StatsZone
Tottenham are unbeaten in their last nine Premier League games at White Hart Lane (W6, D3)
Leicester have won just one of their last 13 Premier League away games (W1, D2, L10).
Five of the last seven matches in all competitions between these two sides have ended 2-1.
These two sides have already met twice this season with both wins coming for the away side. Spurs won the league match in Leicester whilst The Foxes were victorious at White Hart Lane in the FA Cup. Both results were 2-1.
Leonardo Ulloa has scored in all four of his starts against the big North London clubs (Arsenal, Spurs).
Spurs have recovered 16 points from losing positions this season – more than any other side in the top division.
Leicester have failed to score a first half goal in any of their last seven league away days.
Anybody who watched Manchester United and Spurs last Sunday will know exactly how average Spurs can be if Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen don’t turn up. The English forward is my key man for this fixture for that exact reason. It is imperative that Kane rediscovers his best form before Spurs are cut completely adrift of the top five. Kane was starved of possession in last Sunday’s encounter but when he did get hold of it he simply wasn’t at the races. This is no crisis for the young England forward but Spurs really need him right now so a goal here would be timely.
This season has been a real success story for the 21 year old striker and the academy graduate has bagged 16 goals in 25 league appearances so far this term. Something that’s been impressive from Kane this season is his ability to hit the target from a range of angles in differing scenarios. This shows in his shot accuracy which stands at an impressive 60%. Whilst lacking cutting edge pace, Kane has displayed a good ability to beat defenders using sound close control with 46.2% of his attempted take-ons proving successful.
One thing I’d like to see Kane improve upon is his creativity. The future England man has created just 20 chances for his teammates this season which I’d say makes him a poacher rather than an all action forward who can do everything. The one thing he does have is time to develop so this is certainly not an issue at the moment but Kane should ensure he is not limited to being a simple finisher.
Esteban Cambiasso was somewhat of a surprise signing for Leicester City as they regained their place at the top table of English football. The Argentine midfielder has enjoyed a stellar career with Champions League and Serie A glory aplenty. However, there were plenty of question marks above the elder statesman’s head as to whether he could compete in the Premier League at the grand old age of 34. Cambiasso has often been one of Leicester’s better performers in a season of strife for the Foxes. His youthful exuberance is ever present but the legs cannot always carry him. However, it is vital for Leicester that the real Cambiasso stands up sooner rather than later as they plummet towards the Championship
Cambiasso’s shielding playstyle will be needed this weekend if Leicester are to shut down Kane, Eriksen and the rest of the Spurs attack. So far this season, Cambiasso has won 52% of his aerial duels which is ok for someone new to the league and on the wrong side of the 30. Cambiasso’s total duels percentage is slightly weaker at 43.75% which shows how weak he has been in the tackle this season – with over three tackles being lost per 90 minutes played (p90). Positively, the former Inter Milan man still reads the game really well and he averages 2.67 interceptions p90. He’s also yet to make a defensive error which shows how sharp his concentration continues to be.
My prediction for this game has to be 2-1 Spurs. Not only is this the most probable outcome judging by recent history, it’s also Spurs’ favourite scoreline this season which makes it a fairly good bet. If you think I’m right, why not back yourself with William Hill? New customers who deposit £10 will receive £30 in free bets to use as they please. You can get Tottenham to win 2-1 at 7/1 – a banker surely?
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