Next up – Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Sunday, 19th July, 2020 4pm Sky Sports

Preview by Colin Murrant

The results on Thursday night mean that Leicester City are now guaranteed Europa League football next season and, whatever happens in Round 37 fixtures, they will go into the last fixture of the season against Manchester United with the chance of Champions League participation in their own hands.

Before then there is the little matter of Tottenham Hotspur, a team that have recorded 4 wins in their 7 matches since the season restart. Although The Lilywhites’ results have improved of late, their style of play under Mourinho has made them less exciting to watch, recently, at Bournemouth, they failed to register a single shot on target: although they were denied a clear-cut penalty. Ominously though their two most potent goal scorers, Kane (2) and Son, scored the goals in their last outing on Tyneside.

Hopefully next season we will sit in the stadium

When the fixtures were released, now over a year ago, the Spurs away fixture was one of those travelling fans looked forward to with the prospect of visiting the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The stadium, next to the old White Hart Lane ground, is a wonderful example of modern arena architecture. It has a capacity of over 62,000 and is unique in the Premier League as it has a retractable football pitch, under which is a synthetic surface used for NFL matches and concerts. As yet, the ground has not become a fortress for the home team as they have suffered 4 defeats in their 18 EPL matches this season.

Since City returned to the EPL in season 2014/15, they have played away at Tottenham 7 times with 2 wins, 2 draws and 3 defeats; although with 2 of the matches at Wembley and another 2 being FA cup-ties, the results are not a good indicator for Sunday. Amongst those matches, the one that stands out in the memory is that January night in 2016 when Huth headed past Lloris to give City a narrow 1-0 victory on the way to the title. This season, in the September meeting at the King Power, The Foxes ran out 2-1 winners in an exciting encounter with goals from Ricardo and Maddison cancelling an earlier goal from Kane who had improvised as he fell to the ground.

City score the winner in September

Spurs will be without Dier (suspended) and Ndombele (injured), also doubts remain over the fitness of Alli. City’s injured list is long with Ricardo, Maddison, Chilwell and Fuchs out for the season along with the suspended Soyuncu. It is likely the team will be unchanged from the excellent performance against Sheffield United.

The back three of Bennett, Morgan and Evans performed admirably although they might not have such an easy time against the pacier Spurs attack. Debutant Luke Thomas and James Justin played well as wing backs and, with Tielemans and Ndidi back to form, the   midfield should be the same again. Vardy created lots of chances for others against The Blades, so unselfish as he continues to lead the race to The Golden Boot.

Great debut for Luke Thomas against Sheffield United

This has the makings of a Classic encounter as Spurs will have their own European ambitions, last season’s CL finalists are in a pack of 4 teams with realistic chances of securing a place: Sheffield United, Wolves and Arsenal being the others. It will be interesting to see how the season pans out but if Chelsea, not inconceivably, lose to Liverpool and Wolves, then City could be just one point away from the Champions League: with that fourth place not carrying any qualification round for English teams next season. A win over Spurs on Sunday could be massive.

The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation