LEICESTER welcome Tottenham on Wednesday evening. Jack Langford (@jacklangford95) shares his favourite fancies.
Leicester vs Tottenham | Thursday 16th December 2021, 20:00 | BT Sport
Given their sides’ recent COVID-19 outbreaks, Brendan Rodgers and Antonio Conte have severely depleted squads for tonight’s clash at the King Power Stadium. Both teams unsuccessfully asked the Premier League to postpone the match and it’s anyone’s guess what the two starting line-ups will look like.
Leicester will be missing 9 players and have no recognised centre backs available going into the fixture. This is an ominous sign for a side who have only managed one clean sheet all season. That clean sheet came last Sunday where they comfortably beat Newcastle 4-0.
However, Spurs pose a significantly greater attacking threat, and the Foxes will be without more key players at the back. Jonny Evans limped off early at the weekend and centre back partner Caglar Soyuncu has also been ruled out. Rodgers will be forced to play Wilfred Ndidi in defence, and he may opt for two full-backs to join him in a back three.
Spurs aren’t without their casualties on Thursday evening as Lucas Moura and Son Heung-Min are both still out after testing positive for COVID-19. Spurs’ last two matches have been postponed due to their COVID-19 outbreak and the club only re-opened the training ground earlier this week.
Antonio Conte is understandably concerned his side may have lost the momentum they were building prior to the outbreak. Spurs have won their last 3 Premier League matches, scoring at least two goals in each game. It remains to be seen what the isolation impact will be like, but we can expect Tottenham to find the back of the net against one of the Premier League’s worst defences.
Leicester will be playing their third game in six days, while this will be Spurs’ first in 11 days. Despite not having a full-strength attack, a well-rested Tottenham will be confident they can inflict damage on a weakened, leaky defence.
At the other end, Conte has transformed Spurs’ defence and they’ve conceded just one goal in their last four matches. Tottenham’s expected goals against figures are only bettered by Manchester City and Liverpool since Conte took charge.
However, in-form Patson Daka and James Maddison will look to take advantage of any defensive rustiness, and Jamie Vardy is also likely to return to the Foxes’ starting line-up. It’s a tough ask for another Tottenham clean sheet here.
Given the unknows of this fixture, it’s difficult to back either side with any real conviction. Therefore, the goals’ angle appeals and we can expect both teams to find the net due to post-isolation rustiness and widespread, key player absentees.