Tottenham Hotspur will endeavour to get their top-four charge back on track when they welcome Leicester City to North London for Sunday’s Premier League clash.
Antonio Conte’s side played out a goalless stalemate with Brentford last time out, while the Foxes drew 1-1 with Roma in the first leg of their Europa Conference League semi-final.
With Dejan Kulusevski seemingly providing the missing piece of the attacking jigsaw with Son Heung-min and Harry Kane, it was difficult to picture any side who could keep Tottenham at bay, but Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford had all the answers.
Taking just one point and failing to find the back of the net in their last two Premier League games has allowed Tottenham to cede control of the Champions League race to bitter rivals Arsenal, with their recent dip in form certainly amusing Gooners before what will likely be a pivotal North London derby on May 12.
The gap to the Gunners is only two points, though, meaning that Conte’s side could rise back into the top four for at least a couple of hours before Arsenal take on West Ham United, and three points on Sunday is of paramount importance before a trip to Anfield to face Liverpool on May 7.
A lack of goals is one thing, but Tottenham’s failure to even have a shot on target in their last two games is inexplicable with the attacking talent at Conte’s disposal, and no side has ever gone three Premier League games without a shot on target since the start of the 2003-04 season.
The Lilywhites have also kept just one clean sheet in their last six league matches at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – albeit while scoring 15 themselves – but failure to find their shooting boots on Sunday could prove fatal to their hopes of dining at Europe’s top table.
Seeking to add a European honour to their trophy cabinet already boasting the Premier League and FA Cup, Leicester have given themselves a fighting chance of advancing to the final of the Europa Conference League after coming from behind to draw 1-1 with Roma at the King Power.
A well-worked move from Jose Mourinho’s men in the first half ended with captain Lorenzo Pellegrini finishing through the legs of Kasper Schmeichel, but Gianluca Mancini’s own goal restored parity for Leicester in the second period after some tireless work from Harvey Barnes down the left.
Attempting to get the better of Roma on the Stadio Olimpico turf will be no mean feat for this Leicester side who have now drawn each of their last three in all tournaments, and attempting to juggle European and domestic commitments has seen the Foxes take just two points from the last nine on offer in the Premier League to sit 10th in the table – 10 points off the top seven with a couple of games in hand.
Vying for Europa Conference League glory is undoubtedly the Foxes’ best chance to return to continental competition for 2022-23, especially seeing as Brendan Rodgers’s side travel to Tottenham having won just one of their last 11 Premier League games on the road – only Burnley, Norwich City and Everton have fared worse on rival turf this term.
It took a Steven Bergwijn spectacular for Spurs to snatch a last-gasp 3-2 win on Leicester’s turf back in January, and while the Foxes did win 2-0 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last season, making lightning strike twice in the capital with their European fatigue in tow will be a tall order indeed.
Tottenham Hotspur Premier League form:
Leicester City Premier League form:
Leicester City form (all competitions):
We say: Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Leicester City
In spite of their alarming lack of attacking bite over the past couple of weeks, Sunday’s game provides Spurs with the perfect opportunity to return to winning ways against a weary Leicester side who do not travel well at all.
With Rodgers potentially primed to make a number of defensive alterations given the quick turnaround, Conte’s side can feel confident of breaking their goal drought and piling the pressure back on Arsenal.