Leicester vs Spurs – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 11th February 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we preview Spurs’ visit to Leicester. Leicester have shown some improvement in attack recently – can they shock Spurs? Read on with our Leicester vs Spurs prediction.
Leicester vs Spurs Match Preview
Leicester enter this match on a bad run of form. After improving their results somewhat before the World Cup, Leicester’s recent results leave much to be desired. Indeed, they have lost four of the last six games to Newcastle, Liverpool, Fulham, and Forest. However, there have been promising signs in recent games. They were unlucky not to beat Brighton after a late Ferguson goal rescued a point at the King Power for the Seagulls.
Following this result, Leicester won their first game in six in their last match. They equalised twice against Aston Villa at Villa Park before winning it 4-2. Leicester sit in 14th place with 21 points, but only 4 points separate them from Bournemouth in 19th. Leicester’s home form is poor, with only 5 points collected from the last 18, but they will go into this game with some confidence.
Spurs come into this game in a mixed vein of form. Indeed, they have won three and lost three of their previous six matches, so their results have been bipolar. Losses to Villa, rivals Arsenal, and away at Man City were not ideal. However, they managed to beat Fulham and Palace. Then, in their most recent game, they defeated Man City in the return fixture – Harry Kane became Tottenham’s record goalscorer with 267 goals as he notched the winner early on.
Spurs’ away form has been better than their home form in recent weeks, likely because they can play their deadly counter-attacking game more naturally on their travels. Indeed, they have 10 points from the last 18 away from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which puts them in sixth place in the away table over this period. They sit in fifth place with 39 points after 22 games and have Newcastle and Man United in their sights. To qualify for European competition, they must win games such as away at Leicester.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Ndidi, Pereira
Will Not Play: Bertrand, Evans, Justin, Soumare
Might Not Play: Moura, Sarr
Will Not Play: Lloris, Romero, Bissouma
Leicester vs Spurs Lineups (Predicted)
Leicester (4-3-3/4-2-3-1): Ward; Kristiansen, Faes, Souttar, Castagne; Dewsbury-Hall Tielemans; Barnes, Maddison, Tete; Iheanacho
Spurs (3-4-3): Forster; Davies, Dier, Sanchez; Perisic, Bentancur, Hojbjerg, Emerson Royal; Son, Kane, Kulusevski
Leicester vs Spurs Analysis
Leicester Maintaining Territory and Spurs Ceding It
As stated, Spurs are one of those teams who are better on the counter-attack when they can use the pace of Son and Kulusevski to break into space. Leicester and Spurs have both averaged an identical 50.3 per cent possession this season. This stat may be surprising, given Leicester seem to be more of a passing team than their North London opposition. The stats in this area are pretty even, too, as Leicester have completed almost 500 fewer passes than Spurs in one game fewer. We attribute minimal discrepancy here to the fact that Spurs have better players than most teams in the league; even though coach Antonio Conte’s style is to sit in and counter in games, they cannot feasibly do that against inferior opposition at home.
Therefore, much of Spurs’ possession and passing has been aimless and non-penetrative, as it is not their natural style. Leicester are more of a genuine possession-based team (without being Man City), and we expect them to take control of more of the ball here. There won’t be colossal superiority in ball domination, but they will likely have more of it. This situation is where Dewsbury-Hall and Tielemans must get on the ball, play short passes, and try to break through the Tottenham lines. We have spoken previously about how many passes Tielemans makes and his many touches. These stats show that he is crucial to how Leicester play when he is on the pitch. Bentancur and Hojbjerg must press him and harry him, not allowing him time on the ball to pass the ball around and dictate play.
Dewsbury-Hall is very good at driving through midfield and capable of line-breaking runs and passes. He and Tielemans will also look to find Maddison, Leicesters’ most creative player who helps make them tick. Bentancur is a classy player himself, mixing brains, technique, and grit. He will make interceptions, and there will be an onus on him to hold onto the ball when Leicester press, allowing Spurs to find gaps in midfield and disrupt Leicester’s shape. Leicester must be mindful of the Spurs counter and keep Bentancur and Hojbjerg from playing through holes when the home team loses the ball. Spurs will be happy to concede the ball if it allows them to pounce against an out-of-shape Leicester when they recover it.
Width and the Attacks
With the likes of Barnes, Vardy, Maddison, Daka, Iheanacho, and new boy Tete in their ranks, Leicester have plenty of attacking options. Iheanacho will probably get the nod up front after his impressive display against Villa. Tete looks like a good acquisition, and he and Barnes are both very tricky customers out wide – they will drive at the Spurs wing-backs with pace, dribbling, and directness. They will look to make their way into the box to get crosses, cutbacks or shots on goals.
Maddison will be important in this game. The playmaker has missed much of the season, but there is no doubting his ability when he is fit and on the pitch. He will attempt to get on the ball between the lines and make things happen – roaming around the Spurs half and looking to receive the ball on the half-turn. His through balls, dribbling, and ability to play in the wingers could be vital here.
Spurs play three at the back (though Romero is suspended after his red card against Man City). This setup should mean that the two wider centre-backs restrict some of the space down the sides and channels in which Barnes and Tete can operate. It also gives insurance to Perisic and Emerson Royal to get forward and support Son and Kulusevski. The tactical battle is fascinating because Spurs rely on their four wide players to create chances for Kane. Perisic, in particular, has crossed many balls into the box this season, and this is the service on which Kane thrives.
Kane is also a talented playmaker. His dropping deep while Son and Kulusevski break either side of him to receive his passes on the counter is a tactic that Spurs sometimes employ. Indeed, it has paid dividends before. As a result, the Leicester full-backs must be switched on and diligent and not allow Faes and Souttar to become isolated in the centre with the Spurs wide players. Son has been in poor form, but he is a player who can explode into life at any moment. If he isn’t performing, Spurs can bring on new boy Danjuma to try to attack Castagne. Richarlison is also an option.
Leicester have been poor for most of the season. However, with the addition of Tete and Maddison likely being fit again, they now have more firepower and confidence in attack. The win against Aston Villa was a massive result and should give them more self-belief for the remainder of the season. They will be keen not to stifle the momentum and will seek to back up their Villa win against Spurs.
Spurs, too, come into the game off the back of a win. The victory against a blunt Man City side was well-deserved and by no means fortunate. They should travel to the King Power raring to go and relishing the challenge Leicester will give them. Their counter-attack style also matches up well against Leicester. The loss of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to injury isn’t the blow it may appear, as his performances have been suspect for a while.
Regardless, we think this will be a game where both teams give it a real go and come away with an even share of the spoils. After losing the reverse fixture 6-2, Leicester will be determined to do better this time. Both might score, and it may be a topsy-turvy game.
Leicester 2-2 Spurs
Leicester vs Spurs Betting Tip – Draw Odds:
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