Venue: White Hart Lane
Competition: The FA Cup
Opposition: Leicester CityEmbed from Getty Images
Tottenham will today play FA Cup third round hosts to Premier League high-fliers Leicester City, in a game that sees the capabilities of two teams with huge opportunities to be fighting it out at the top of the table come the end of the season pitted against one another.
Leicester, led from the front by the twin destructive forces of Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy have proven to be the Premier League’s surprise package this season, with their determined and combative style seeing Claudio Ranieri’s men top of the tree at Christmas as they’ve continued to defy the conventions of the Premier League. Victory in today’s tie represents a great opportunity for either team to land a significant psychological blow.Embed from Getty Images
Spurs are likely to use the game as an opportunity to rest a few players, the FA Cup seemingly not too highly prioritised in a season that has seen the boys in good stead to reclaim Champions League qualification for the first time since 2010 as potential competitors Manchester United and Liverpool continue to flounder amidst torrid campaigns. The likes of Bentaleb, Nacer Chadli and Heung-Min Son are likely to see opportunities to re-stake their credentials as first team players, whilst Pritchard, Dembele and Clinton N’Jie are all still ruled out through injury.
Leicester, too, are unlikely to risk sacrificing their gains in the Premier League in exchange for a run in the FA Cup, and many of their star-performers are expected to be rested for the match, also. Midfielders Jeffrey Schlupp and Matt James are the only long term absentees for The Foxes.
Kane vs Vardy?
A chance to see two of England’s hottest strikers shoot it out as they both vie for a place at Euro 2016 has sadly been negated from us as Jamie Vardy will sit the clash out following minor surgery on a groin injury. The form of these two men will prove crucial in the end of season run-ins; will our Enfield boy be the catalyst for bringing Champions League football back to White Hart Lane, or will the old proverbial saying that chatting sh*t invariably leads to getting banged prove true once again?
Opportunity for Pochettino to investigate the resilience of his squad
Spurs have seen themselves come through the large part of the festive season relatively unscathed. Whilst the likes of Liverpool have seen player after player having to spend time on the treatment table, Mousa Dembele is the only player of note to fall victim to the congested fixture list; as the team look to have reaped the rewards of the campaign being built upon the foundation of a strong pre-season.
With a huge end of season in stock for Mauricio Pochettino and his men, today could prove to be an excellent opportunity for him to test the mettle of some of the team’s squad players against what will undoubtedly be stern opposition.Embed from Getty Images
By Joe Thomas