Tottenham needs to end with a winning streak
After looking like a lock for the competition at the start of project restart – Leicester City are trying to keep their Champions League aspirations for next season alive as they travel to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the penultimate game of the season for both teams. Leicester and Tottenham Hotspur could not have had two different starts to the season. Whereas Spurs won only 3 of their first 12 matches in the Premier League Leicester City won 12 of their first 16, looking to hang with both Manchester City and Liverpool for much of the first half of the season.
Since that outstanding start, things have not been as good for Leicester as they have only won 2 in a row once since that flying start and that was well before the re-start. Further, they only have 17 points in their last 15 games, for an end like Spurs start. Alternatively, Tottenham Hotspur have finally seemed to get their act together having won 7 of their last 13 matches in the league. However, last time it seemed two teams going in different directions met, Sheffield walked over Spurs and righted their ship in time to play havoc on Tottenham’s season.
Leicester comes in with a bonafide all-world striker in Jamie Vardy who is on a league-leading 23 goals on the season. There is a major drop off between Vardy and the second leading scorer – former Magpie Ayoze Perez who has 8 goals, then comes James Maddison and Harvey Barnes each with six. And while Maddison often gets all the attention there are SEVEN players on the Leicester side with more assists than Maddison’s 3. Harvey Barnes leads the team with 8 assists followed by Youri Tielemans’ six.
Tottenham needs to get the job done
So, while Maddison gets a lot of hype the ball typically moves all over the pitch for City with Tielemans and Wilfred Ndidi often demanding the ball and doing a lot of the heavy lifting in the middle of the park.
Of course, while Leicester do have a possession game, they are probably most potent sitting back and looking to over the top with Vardy and his speed. This is something Spurs are going to have to watch out for and likely will lead to a lower versus higher line from Tottenham.
Leicester’s defense has been hit with leading passes Caglar Soyuncu being injured in the last match. This will put extra pressure on Jonny Evans and Ben Chilwell in the back, if Spurs play with two up top as they have since much of the restart, it could lead to some opportunities to attack.
Ultimately, Tottenham and Leicester actually two very similar sides who like to play possession but no so much they cannot hit you on the counter. Leicester will attack a bit more down the left with Chilwell and Spurs will attack more down the right with Aurier – creating possibly the most important match-up of the day. With Leicester looking to complete the season double and sweep Spurs and a chance at Europa League for next season still on the line, it does not get any more important than this for Spurs. Let’s hope they are up to the task.