The game on Saturday afternoon at Leicester City kicks off three games in nine days for Tottenham Hotspur, but more critically, two games in four. That experience of playing in the Premier League on Saturday and then again on Tuesday will come in handy down the road for Spurs.
Leicester City is an improved team, and Tottenham needs to be prepared for that. While they are not Manchester City – by any means – at home, with some budding confidence, expect the Foxes to try to play with the ball and take the game to Spurs.
The Foxes did well to address some needs in the January transfer market. New Brazilian winger Tete brings more potency to Leicester’s attack, and two defensive additions – Harry Soutter and Victor Kristiansen – help shore up a defense leaking like a sieve.
Maybe the most important during January for Leicester is that neither of Leicester’s two most important players – Youri Tielemans and James Maddison went anywhere. Keeping both midfielders will continue to make the Foxes a formidable task for teams that come to King Power Stadium.
Tottenham does have to be thinking ahead to Milan midweek
Although the game’s focus should be entirely on the new and improved Leicester City, Spurs will be thinking about the Champions League midweek. Whereas Cristian Romero will be out Saturday and thus likely starting against AC Milan, Pierre Hojbjerg will be out against Milan from a yellow card accumulation, so he will likely start Saturday, knowing he will sit Tuesday.
Beyond those pre-made decisions, how much the new additions like Pedro Porro and Araut Danjuma play will be something the team needs to consider in advance of Milan. Likewise, with Hojbjerg out and Yves Bissouma injured, Oliver Skipp will likely see some minutes on Saturday in the second half to help shake off the rust before the Champions League.
The point is Spurs will have to be thinking about balancing the squad for two games in four days, which is excellent preparation for what is to come.
Tottenham will have a complex scheduling anomaly in late April
Despite the break for the World Cup for most of the rest of the season, Tottenham will play only one Premier League game per week on the weekend. However, in later April, there is an anomaly in the schedule where Tottenham plays three Premier League games in eight days, including two games in the first four.
Spurs are scheduled to play at Newcastle on Saturday, 22 April, then host Manchester United on Tuesday, 25 April, before visiting Anfield to face Liverpool on Saturday, 29 April. While the three days between the Tuesday visit of United and the Saturday trip to Merseyside are relatively normal for a team in multiple competitions, playing two games in four days is not.
It is not ideal, as Tottenham will face strong opposition over a brief period. The positive news is Spurs will have done it before and should be prepared. That preparation for success in late April starts Saturday at Leicester City. Come On, You Spurs.