Scouting Report: Leicester City

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Image: SpursWeb

Ahead of the new season, Leicester would have seen the first two games as a chance to pick up several points but the Foxes perhaps didn’t expect to produce the results or the performances that they have done in their opening 180 minutes of football this campaign.

The appointment of Claudio Ranieri was widely criticised but so far, the arrival of the Italian looks to be a shrewd choice made by the club’s owners and while there are still doubts about the team from a defensive perspective, six goals in two Premier League matches is a promising start.

Riyad Mahrez  and Jamie Vardy have been outstanding in attack, as has new signing Shinji Okazaki, while former Napoli midfielder Gokhan Inler will add plenty to a team initially expected to be scrapping for survival.

That may still turn out to be the case, but it is important for the East Midlands side to maintain their momentum ahead of the international break. The club will be realistic with their ambitions, but the more points that they can pick up before Christmas, the better.

This weekend will see Leicester going for their fifth successive home win, and their sixth in seven games. Only Chelsea have taken anything from the King Power since the start of April, and that highlights the size of the task in front of Spurs.

Recent form: WW

Tottenham Hotspur

After recording one point from their opening two games, it hasn’t been the best of starts for Spurs, but bossmauricio-pochettino Pochettino has insisted that no-one is panicking at White Hart Lane.

The Argentine believes that no judgement should be made until after 10 games, but it is imperative that they pick up something from their trip to Leicester to avoid playing catch up over the next few weeks.

Positives could be taken from their narrow 1-0 defeat to Manchester United, but dropping two points at home to Stoke City would have been hard to take. A comfortable win over a solid Potters unit would have been applauded, but instead, supporters have been left demanding improvements.

They begin week three towards the bottom of the table and with relentless speculation regarding possible arrivals and departures threatening to hinder their focus on the pitch. Pochettino will no doubt want to strengthen his squad, but he may need results over the next few games to avoid any discontent.

All eyes will also be on Harry Kane, who Pochettino admitted wasn’t fit last weekend. The England international hasn’t had much of a pre-season, but the club need their star man firing on all cylinders sooner rather than later.

Recent form: LD

Team News

Barring late fitness issues, Ranieri is expected to name the same starting lineup for the third game in succession.

Swiss international Inler is in contention, but like many of the new arrivals to the club, he is likely to have to wait for his chance.

Despite being withdrawn against Stoke last weekend, Kane will start for Spurs against a club where he has previously played on loan.

New signing Clinton N’Jie will feature in the squad providing that all the necessary paperwork regarding his work permit has been completed by Friday’s midday deadline.

Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel, De Laet, Drinkwater, Morgan, Huth, Vardy, King, Albrighton, Schlupp, Okazaki, Mahrez

Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Mason, Chadli, Dembele, Eriksen, Kane

Head To Head

The two clubs have played each other on 78 previous occasions, with Spurs holding a slender advantage over Leicester with 36 wins compared to 29 for the Foxes.

Spurs also have an impressive recent record in the East Midlands, emerging victorious on three of their last five visits.

A goalless draw isn’t expected at the weekend, with the last nine games seeing 41 goals scored and no clean sheets being kept by either side.

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