Tottenham Hotspur is a point out of the top four and full of optimism after three-straight wins, the latest being the season’s best result: a win over Manchester City. Despite all of the bumps over the past few months, things finally seem to be coming together, as least on paper.
The schedule is relatively manageable over the next few weeks, which is a good thing considering there will be some noticeable absences. Antonio Conte is still recovering from his surgery, and with the manager out, so too is the squad’s captain, as it was announced Wednesday that Hugo Lloris could miss up to a couple months as well.
Furthermore, Cristian Romero will have to sit out Saturday’s trip to Leicester City after picking up a pair of yellow cards last season. Despite missing these three important members of the club, Tottenham cannot afford to regress now after the results have started swinging back in the right direction.
Leicester City (t-14th, 21pts) vs. Tottenham Hotspur (5th, 36pts)
Date: Saturday, February 11
Time: 10:00 am ET, 3:00 pm UK
Location: King Power Stadium, Leicester, England
TV: Peacock Premium (USA)
Leicester went on a bit of a run after Spurs’ 6-2 drubbing in September, winning five of the next eight matches heading into the World Cup. Unfortunately, it has been rough sailing since then, with the Foxes dropping four straight after the restart and having won just once (in the league) in 2023 — last weekend against Aston Villa.
The reverse fixture was supposed to be the Heung-Min Son breakout, with the struggling attacker netting a hat trick in just 30 minutes as a substitute. Obviously it turned out to be a bit of a false indicator, but the bangers from that contest as well as his brace against Preston North End are great reminders of his talent, which is bound to lead to a true resurgence at some point.
A couple of the goals in September came from the Tottenham press (as well as Harry Kane, who always scores against Leicester), and that intensity is which is what led to Kane’s winner this past Sunday. That level of coordinated effort should yield to some good opportunities against a Leicester defense that has allowed the third-most goals in the league this season.
The other end of the pitch is going to draw the most attention, though, with both Lloris and Romero missing. In net will be Fraser Forster, who is a dropoff in reliability even with the Frenchman’s inconsistencies this season. Do not be surprised to see Spurs adjust to provide a little more coverage in front of him and stay a bit more conservative.
That does go in hand with whoever steps in for Romero, and also could potentially pave the way for Emerson Royal to keep his job, at least for a little longer. The right wingback is certainly more defensive-minded than the newly arrived Pedro Porro, and it is hard to argue against choosing him to keep starting after putting up the best performance in his Spurs tenure against Manchester City.