Tottenham’s top 4 bid suffered a major blow as Spurs were hammered at Old Trafford, but Mauricio Pochettino’s charges will be looking to bounce back with a home win over bottom-placed Leicester City. The Foxes sit deep in the relegation zone at the moment, and they have no choice but to try and win at White Hart Lane since one point probably wouldn’t make a lot of difference.
Is the top 4 bid already over?
It was by no means easy for Mauricio Pochettino to rebuild the squad after taking over from Tim Sherwood, and Spurs indeed experienced plenty of problems in the opening exchanges. Nevertheless, the team kept improving as the season unfolded and they came into a position to fight for Champions League qualification as well as the League Cup title. And while Spurs suffered a defeat to Chelsea in the Capital One Cup final, they sat very close to the top 4 positions in the Premier League until last weekend. Tottenham were then punished for a lacklustre performance at Old Trafford, with the 3-0 loss leaving them six points behind fourth-placed Man Utd. Nothing is lost just yet since there are another nine games to go, but Spurs obviously need to return to winning ways instantly if they are to stand any chance of securing Champions League berth. Mauricio Pochettino’s charges clearly have enough quality and experience to recover from the heavy defeat at Old Trafford and the fact that bottom-placed Leicester have got to adopt a positive approach due to their current situation should play into their hands.
The hosts are sweating over the fitness of midfielder Ryan Mason, but there are no other worries for Mauricio Pochettino at the moment.
Destined for the drop
The mere fact that Leicester City sit seven points adrift of safety with nine games to go is enough to suggest the size of the task ahead of Nigel Pearson’s charges. The Foxes do have a game in hand on their relegation rivals, but the problem is they will be hosting leaders Chelsea in the rearranged match, so it is perfectly clear the odds are stacked firmly against them at the moment. The King Power Stadium outfit did show glimpses of quality along the way, but they clearly didn’t do enough to give themselves a realistic chance of surviving the current season. The Foxes experienced major problems in attack, with January recruit Andrej Kramaric still trying to find his feet and it would take a miracle for them to escape the straight return to the Championship. Leicester are currently on a seven-match winless run in the Premier League, with the players clearly very low on confidence, but given the huge gap behind the safety, the visitors have no choice but to go on the attack at White Hart Lane. However, that is only going to make Tottenham’s job easier as the hosts will have plenty of space to exploit.
There are no fresh selection problems for Nigel Pearson, but Anthony Knockaert, Dean Hammond and Zoumana Bakayogo are out injured.
As disappointing as the loss to Manchester United was, it will make Tottenham players even more determined to defeat Leicester on Saturday afternoon and Spurs should be superior to the Premiership strugglers in all aspects of the game, taking advantage of the Foxes’ lack of confidence to record a comfortable win.
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