Tottenham Hotspur-Leicester City Preview
Antonio Conte has questioned the Premier League's "strange" decision to postpone Tottenham's clash with Arsenal but is now fully focused on the midweek trip to Leicester City.
Arsenal's request to have Sunday's north London derby called off was accepted by the league due to a combination of coronavirus, injuries and international call-ups in their camp.
Tottenham released an angry statement at the time of the postponement and Conte doubled down at Tuesday's news conference previewing the match with Leicester.
"It was for sure a strange decision, but I think the club made an important statement to speak about our disappointment for the decision," he said.
"This is the first time in my life that there is a league that postpones games for injuries. This is very strange and I'm very surprised for this."
Tottenham have therefore had an 18-day gap between league games ahead of their clash with Leicester, who are eight points worse off in the Premier League.
"Our priority is Leicester," Conte said. "We know we have to play against a really good team that have won a title, won an FA Cup, won a Community Shield. They are a reality, not a surprise."
The Foxes have found a bit of form with back-to-back wins in all competitions, including a 1-0 victory over Liverpool in their most recent league game three weeks ago.
City face a packed run of fixtures to make amends for postponements, but manager Brendan Rodgers has no complaints.
"We all accept it. You know you're going to have to go in, and if you have your squad, and hopefully no injuries will be picked up, then we can get on with it," he said.
Asked for his thoughts on Premier League games being called off at a regular rate, Rodgers said: "The rules are clear. You must have 13 players plus a goalkeeper, so there is enough clarity.
"It doesn't say in the rules that the guys out must be COVID-related. The rules are there and are clear."
Leicester City - James Maddison
Maddison has been directly involved in seven goals in his last six Premier League appearances - four goals and three assists.
That is more than the England international managed in his previous 26 games in the competition, highlighting his vast improvement over the past two months.
Tottenham - Harry Kane
Kane has regained his scoring touch once again under Conte, with the England international finding the net in three of his last four league appearances.
That is bad news for Leicester, an opponent in which Kane has scored more goals against in all competitions than any other side in his career (17 goals in 16 matches).
- Leicester have won two of their last four Premier League games against Tottenham (L2), which is as many as they had in their previous 12 against them (D3 L7).
- Since Leicester returned to the Premier League in 2014, their 14 meetings with Tottenham have produced 54 goals - only Arsenal v Liverpool (62), Crystal Palace v Liverpool (55) and Crystal Palace v West Ham (55) have seen more goals scored in the competition in that time.
- The Foxes have won their last three Premier League home games, their longest winning run at home since a run of seven between August-December 2019. However, two of their three home league defeats this season have been against London sides (2-0 v Arsenal, 3-0 v Chelsea).
- Spurs have scored just seven goals in eight away league games this season (0.9 per game), compared to an average of 1.7 per game last season (33 in 19). Indeed, it took Spurs just 97 minutes (excluding stoppage time) to score seven Premier League away goals last season.
- Tottenham are unbeaten in all eight of their Premier League games under Conte, the best unbeaten start for a Spurs manager in their league history (W5 D3). Only two managers to join a Premier League club during a season have had longer unbeaten starts - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United in 2018-19 (12) and Thomas Tuchel with Chelsea last season (10).
Updated January 18, 2022