The corresponding fixture last season influenced the outcome of the title race. This time, both clubs need the points but for very different reasons. Tottenham were cock-a-hoop at not just beating Manchester City but comprehensively outplaying them.
Leicester, defending champions, are playing how everyone expected them to last season. Mid-table and nowhere near title contenders. No hint of a relegation battle ahead but not quite clear enough of the bottom three to be certain.
Three points is vital for both sides.
Instead of being an injection of hope and enthusiasm into their season, the 2 – 0 win over Manchester City has become a millstone around the Spurs players’ necks. Since that victory, they have drawn twice on the Premier League travels and once in Europe whilst losing at Anfield in the EFL Cup earlier this week.
More worrying for Mauricio Pochettino is the lack of goals. Dele Alli grabbed a late equaliser at the Hawthorns and Vincent Janssen grabbed a penalty at Anfield but it’s not much to show for their efforts.
Conceding isn’t a problem, they still have the best defensive record in the top flight by a long way. It’s as if they have imbued themselves with the spirit of George Graham’s Arsenal side: how long before the chant “1 – 0 to the Tottenham” rings around White Hart Lane.
Spurs fans hope it will be in this match. What should be a comfortable three points holds the prospect of being a long drawn out afternoon if Claudio Ranieri can get his back four working properly.
The Foxes were written off before a ball was kicked but having kept their title-winning squad largely together, might have expected a better start than this one. Twelfth in the Premier League and out of the EFL Cup could be the ‘norm’ for any of their seasons but a 100% record in the Champions League is nothing to be sniffed at.
Indeed, half of their six wins have come in the group stage matches but domestic form is picking up. It’s just a pity that they aren’t at home this weekend; away from home in the Premier League, they have been hopeless. Played four, lost four, thirteen conceded, three scored.
Claudio Ranieri hinted that the togetherness which drove the squad on last season is missing when he warned Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez that they faced the prospect of being dropped if they let their Balon d’Or nominations go to their head. Vardy was a substitute last week so the Italian is not a man to be trifled with.
FORM (Last six games)
Tottenham Hotspur - WWDDDL
Leicester City - LWDLWW
- Leicester City haven’t won away from home in the Premier League since 10th April 2016
- The two clubs have gained the most Premier League points in 2016. Spurs 54, Leicester 53
- Claudio Ranieri has never lost a match to Spurs in the Premier League (Won 7, drawn 3)
- Leicester lead the head-to-head between the two sides with 9 wins to Spurs 7 with both clubs winning 4 matches at White Hart Lane
- Spurs have conceded all four of their Premier League goals from set pieces.
CURRENT MATCH ODDS [BEST PRICED ODDS]
HEAD TO HEAD
Last six meetings
20.01.2016 FA Cup 3R Replay - Leicester City 0 – 2 Spurs
13.01.2016 Premier League - Spurs 0 – 1 Leicester City
10.01.2016 FA Cup 3R - Spurs 2 – 2 Leicester City
22.08.2015 Premier League - Leicester City 1 – 1 Spurs
21.03.2015 Premier League - Spurs 4 – 3 Leicester City
24.01.2015 FA 4R - Spurs 1 – 2 Leicester City
Spurs need to re-ignite their campaign with a win; Leicester need a win to get into the fight for the Europa League places - it’s a match neither side can afford to lose.
Both sides are struggling for goals at the moment and Spurs need to find their shooting boots seems more pressing. Vincent Janssen looks like he could do with a goal from open play to get his confidence going whilst Leicester are barely recognisable from the team which played such attacking passion last season.
Even so, it’s hard to see beyond Tottenham on this one: three points for Spurs.
MY RECOMMENDED BETS
- Spurs to keep a clean sheet (11/8 with William Hill)
- Spurs to win to nil (7/4 with Unibet)
- Vincent Janssen to score first goal (5/1 with BetFred)
- Spurs to win 3 – 0 (12/1 with Bet 365)
- 0 – 0 draw (12/1 with Betfair)
Francois is one of Howtobet4free’s co-founders and has written many of Howtobet4free’s popular Betting Guides. Francois also helps run the @howtobet4free_ Twitter account