Spurs vs Leicester City in the fourth round of the FA Cup is up next, so we take a look at how you break down Nigel Pearson’s Foxes.
The knockout competitions continue to come thick and fast, as we host Leicester City in this weekend’s FA Cup fourth round. Nigel Pearson brings his Foxes side to the Lane having won and drawn on their last two Premier League away days, seeing them come in to some form.
So, what can we expect and what should we be on the lookout for in Spurs vs Leicester City this time?
1. Attack the right back
Leicester City have struggled in the Premier League this season and teams that have done well against them have attacked their right back zone. This position is usually frequented by Danny Simpson, who can be caught forward supporting the attack or left 1v1 by the midfield player in front of him.
We exposed this zone in our recent visit to the King Power Stadium. Nacer Chadli got in after just 1 minute to centre for Harry Kane to open the scoring.
We then also created other opportunities by getting in down this flank. This included earning the free kick from which Christian Eriksen won the game, as Harry Kane was fouled cutting in from this side.
In Leicester’s last away game, a 2-2 draw at Anfield, Liverpool carved them open through this zone, as Brendan Rodgers specifically put Raheem Sterling on this flank. They got the ball to the pint-sized flyer as often as possible for him to dribble towards the area, cross or cut it back.
Going after the Foxes’ right back zone will be key to the Tottenham tactics in Spurs vs Leicester City this weekend. The selection of players on our left will be crucial for Mauricio Pochettino to opening them up and creating chances.
2. Profiting from foul play
Only Crystal Palace have conceded more fouls than Leicester City in the Premier League this season. This has given their opponents chances from set pieces and thus goal scoring opportunities.
The Foxes have allowed 104 chances from dead ball situations in the Premier League this season, the most of any team.
We saw an example of this in our match with them on Boxing Day, as Christian Eriksen scored from a free kick in our 2-1 win at the King Power Stadium. In Leicester’s last away match, Liverpool earned two penalties. Both were won by attacking the porous right back zone and both were for handball.
The Tottenham tactics for Spurs vs Leicester City should focus on making the most from set piece situations when they arise.
3. Spurs vs Leicester City crosses
As we found out at the King Power Stadium, Leicester are a serious threat from crosses. They like to get the ball out wide where they can deliver for the aerially strong Leonardo Ulloa or David Nugent.
Fortunately they will be without their main supply line, Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian is away at the African Cup of Nations with our very own Nabil Bentaleb. Mahrez was a constant thorn in our side on Boxing Day. His ball into the box saw Ulloa head against our post. He then crossed for the same player to level the scores.
The lack of having Mahrez in the side recently has seen the Foxes struggle to create, but they still have other crossing weapons. Jeffrey Schlupp and Paul Konchesky are the supply line down the left, whilst Danny Simpson is a capable crosser from the right.
For us, the aerially dominant Federico Fazio will be a big miss if he fails to recover from the illness that has kept him out recently. However, teams that have had success against the Foxes have pushed them back in wide areas to cut off the supply line.
4. Defending the wide areas
Stopping Leicester City at source is usually a better way of stifling their game plan than trying to defend the crosses as they come in.
This is something Stoke did well in Leicester’s last Premier League game, a match that the Potters won 1-0.
Despite giving away some big chances to the Foxes in our match with them on Boxing Day, we also defended the wide areas reasonably well.
The Tottenham tactics for Spurs vs Leicester City should focus on pushing the Foxes back down the flanks. Aggressive full backs such as Danny Rose on the left will be key to doing this. Deploying Rose as a left-sided midfielder, as we saw in the last round against Burnley, will be something for Mauricio Pochettino to consider. Leicester do favour attacking down their right, so a Rose/Davies combination on this side would not only push them back, but also attack their right back zone.
5. Shots in the box
We opened the scoring after just 1 minute in our recent match with Leicester, as Harry Kane got free in the box to fire home. The Foxes then levelled the score, as Leonardo Ulloa prodded home from 2 yards.
Giving up shots from close range has been a problem for both sides. In fact, only QPR and us have allowed more shots than the Foxes inside the 18-yard area this season and it’s a major reason why both teams have leaked goals.
We have the firepower to often overcome this, whilst Leicester frequently do not. Being clinical in the penalty box may be just be the difference between advancing to the fifth round and bowing out of the competition on Saturday.
Spurs vs Leicester City outlook
After wanting us to play “with intensity, at a high level and tempo” on Wednesday night, Mauricio Pochettino was left disappointed. He bemoaned that “we played at a very slow tempo” and “when every player had the ball, they took three, four and five touches.”
We can be sure that our head coach will have been working on correcting this in training with a view to speeding things up for a very winnable fixture.
Just how many changes each coach will make is uncertain, but what we need to be sure of is attacking Leicester’s right back zone. Pochettino’s selections on this side will be crucial to the outcome of this FA Cup tie.
Spurs vs Leicester City prediction: Spurs 2 Leicester City 1.
Spurs vs Leicester City betting
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Spurs to win at 7/10 with BetVictor
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Goal in 1st 15 minutes at 2/1 with 888sport
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