Pochettino relishing Leicester reunion

Image: SpursWeb

Tottenham come up against familiar faces on Wednesday night as they take on Leicester for the third time in 10 days, but boss Mauricio Pochettino is looking forward to renewing rivalries.

Spurs head to the King Power Stadium for their FA Cup third-round replay having played out a 2-2 draw in their initial cup tie and with the Foxes winning 1-0 in a league meeting in north London last week.

It means, in their previous three meetings this season, Tottenham have been unable to get the better of Claudio Ranieri’s side, who remain second in the Barclays Premier League behind Arsenal.

“It is a good challenge as they play with a different team in FA Cup, 10 players different from in the Premier League,” Pochettino said.

“They change all the team, only kept their goalkeeper and we lost. Now it’s a good chance to try to show we are better than them and win the game.

“We are ready to compete tomorrow. We have a good chance to go to next round and the FA Cup is important for us.”

Both sides are again likely to make several alterations to their starting line-ups when they meet at the King Power Stadium – but Pochettino insists that does not mean they are prioritising the Premier League over a cup run.

“We have some players in a condition where it’s a big risk to play,” he said.

“We have ahead of lot of games. Always we assess the players and maybe we take a decision to rest some players for tomorrow. It’s a clear message for our fans – when you are Tottenham or Leicester we need to show respect for the squad.”

Leicester could be forgiven for not prioritising the FA Cup as they find themselves embroiled in an unlikely Premier League title race, but Ranieri insists his side are focused on booking a fourth-round spot.

“Now we are focused on the cup,” Ranieri said. “I think our fans also are thinking we are doing something nobody can dream [of] but now we want to fight until the end.

“For me it is important now after a good performance at Tottenham how we respond and our mentality and strength. We start very well and for me this is another good step for my ideas about football.”


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