|DATE||Saturday 29th October 2016|
|VENUE||White Hart Lane|
|Leicester City SQUAD||1.
2. Luis HERNANDEZ
3. Ben CHILWELL
4. Danny DRINKWATER
5. Wes MORGAN
6. Robert HUTH
7. Ahmed MUSA
8. Matt JAMES
9. Jamie VARDY
10. Andy KING
11. Marc ALBRIGHTON
13. Daniel AMARTEY
14. Bartosz KAPUSTKA
15. Jeffrey SCHLUPP
17. Danny SIMPSON
19. Islam SLIMANI
20. Shinji OKAZAKI
21. Ron-Robert ZIELER
22. Demarai GRAY
23. Leonardo ULLOA
24. Nampalys MENDY
26. Riyad MAHREZ
27. Marcin WASILEWSKI
28. Christian FUCHS
--. Ben HAMER
--. Yohan BENALOUANE
After last season's chase of Leicester City proved unsuccessful,
this season the team's fortunes may have currently been reversed.
Leicester have had a rocky early defence of their title and have yet to win away ... something that might turn into a curse for Tottenham. The win by the Foxes at the Lane was fortunate, but a turning point in their season, but this result might not be as crucial in the ling run to them, while it would give Spurs a boost after a few drawn matches. The hard-working Kante's loss has hit the champions hard and while they have brought in reinforcements, they have failed to gel up to now.
Vardy was the key player alongside Mahrez last season, but has found himself on the bench at times, with new signing Islam Slimani giving a more physical presence up front, but without his pace. Leicester look a better side when Okazaki is in it and he certainly caused Tottenham problems last season with his energetic performances. Ulloa looked like he might be on his way in the summer, but is still in the Foxes squad.
Surprisingly, it is the Leicester defence which has been suspect in the early stages of the season, after being the rock on which their title win was built. Early last season they scored quite a few goals, but when they dried up, they were able to win games by the odd goal thanks to Morgan and Huth being sound in the middle of the back four. This season, they have lost concentration at time, allowing opposition forwards space and time in the area and that has cost them points. Fuchs, Simpson and Wasilewski are still there and will be keen to rejoin battle with Spurs.
Spurs will need to move the ball quicker than they have done lately and in the second half at Anfield, they caused Liverpool more problems when they did that. Rather than put Janssen in against two big centre-halves, Pochettino may opt for Son up front, with the midfielders getting in and around him to pull Leicester players out of position. They work hard in midfield with Drinkwater and King getting a foot in here and there, while Mahrez covers a lot of ground, but still manages to pop up in the opposition box. Schlupp works the line either from full back or midfield, but it will be interesting to see if Ranieri plays Demarai Gray from the start. A tricky winger, with pace and skill, he could pose problems for Walker, but with Wanyama and another in front of the back four, there should be enough cover should there be an issue.
Tottenham have lost that cutting edge in the final third and have failed to score too many in the last few games. Kane's absence is a miss, but they should be able to create more chances than they have done in the last two draws and hitting the target will find Schmeichel in the way, as he is a good shot-stopper, but is not that tall for a keeper, so well placed efforts in the corners will test his powers of reach.
With Leicester needing to
start picking up points away from home, this is not going to be
pretty, but with a good tempo to push the visitors back, Tottenham
should come out on top and maintain their place towards the top of
|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 2 Leicester City 1|
|RESULTS HISTORY||Click here for results, match reports and facts on meetings with Leicester City|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Moussa Sissoko serves game two of a three match ban and neither Toby Alderweireld (knee) and Harry Kane (ankle) will be available for selection.
LEICESTER CITY TEAM NEWS :
Andy King is fit for the Foxes, but Ben Chilwell (muscle) and Nampalys Mendy (ankle) miss out.
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
Saturday 29th October 2016
White Hart Lane
Kick off 15:00
|Janssen (p) 43m 18s||Musa 47m 20s|
Rose (dissent) 38
Son (foul on Musa) 41
Wanyama (foul on Okazaki) 68
Mahrez (foul on Rose) 54
Musa (foul on Alli) 64
Vardy (dissent) 65
Simpson (pulling Son's shirt) 89
|Crowd : 31,868||Weather : Dry, mild|
|Referee : Robert Madley (West Yorkshire)||Assistant Referees : Mr. M. Perry; Mr. C. Hatzidakis|
|Fourth Official : Geoff Scott|
|Spurs kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 7 minutes.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||Leicester City :||kit|
Hugo LLORIS (c)
Harry WINKS 87)
9 Vincent JANSSEN (p)
|Manager : Mauricio Pochettino||Manager : Claudio Ranieri|
|Sponsor : AIA||Shirt sponsor : King Power|
|Kit Supplier : Under Armour||Kit Supplier : Puma|
This was a match between two sides challenging for the Premier League title last season that was thoroughly spoiled by the man in the middle, who was consistent in only being inconsistent and the 1-1 draw was not a true reflection of the balance of play. Not that the final results are always an accurate indicator of how games have been played out, but the officiating was poor and Leicester City were allowed free rein in the early stages to foul without punishment.
An early pull back by Morgan when Janssen ran him down the line was given as a free-kick, but no booking, when Simpson was booked (rightly) for stretching Son's shirt by about a yard when the winger out-paced him down the line late in the game. Same offence, different outcome. Why ? Danny Drinkwater swung a hand at his frustration at conceding a free-kick after ten minutes, but when Rose did it fifteen minutes later, he gets a yellow card. Persistent fouling by Huth and Morgan went without caution, but Wanyama's foul on Okazaki got him one thanks to King rushing up to Madley and wanting a yellow card. I seem to remember that referees were to punish that with a yellow itself. The way that they surrounded the man in purple when he gave a penalty was another thing that I thought was being outlawed. I look forward to an FA charge for Leicester City for failing to control their players. But it won't happen. Even though it is near Halloween, you know that the governing body won't want to spoil the fairy tale.
In truth, Leicester came for a point and will be very happy with it. They showed little willingness to go forward and until the end, when they threw on the lamppost that is Ulloa and threw high balls and long throws towards his head, there was little for Lloris to do. In the first half, they showed only one moment of excitement, when Mahrez put in a cross from the right wing and Okazaki headed over, when he really should have hit the target. That was after half an hour, when Spurs had pushed into the Leicester half and Mousa Dembele had an effort blocked and Dele Alli forced Schmeichel into a save. Eriksen played Rose into space n the left and the shot that he fired in from 25 yards dipped in front of the keeper, but it was straight at him. Rose had Mahrez in his pocket and the Algerian was lucky to get away (or perhaps not so lucky, as Madley let a lot go) with a hand in Rose's face after the ball had long gone.
While Leicester had lost the aggressive presence of Kante in midfield, they have plenty of players who can run around a lot and kick people. The only tactic they came with, after four successive away defeats, was to try and hit on the break. It is a tactic that is employed by several side sin the League these days, with Leicester being like many teams we play, who just want to frustrate and stifle. Very few want to pit their ability to win a game against others. In this one, there was only one team who wanted to play and that wasn't Ranieri's team.
The Leicester keeper was warned about taking too long over taking goal-kicks and Madley was still doing it in the 89th minute. When will match officials realise that time-wasting will only stop when they act on it early. Why is time-wasting in the 20th minute not a bookable offence when it is in the 80th ? Players were being taken out off the ball, as Morgan dumped Janssen on the floor way off the play, then Alli was up-ended in the box before Rose's cross found Son at the back of the box. He lifted the ball over a defender and played it to Wanyama, who hit a volley that went across goal and wide.
Vardy might have been nominated for a chance to win the Ballon D'Or, but he wasn't looking like the best player in England let alone the world, but he couldn't get past Eric Dier, who was too strong for him and neither could he collect a golden ball from Musa, making him look like the Fleetwood Town attacker he once was. Lloris had a couple of excursions outside his box to head the ball away and to clear one with his feet, but other than that he had nothing to do.
Janssen was battling away with the lumbering centre-halves, but managed to get away from them when a corner was cleared and Eriksen put a low ball into the near post, with Vincent. He screwed his shot wide of the goal with Alli unable to get a touch on the ball as it went past him. Leicester mustered a shot on goal when they won a corner and Mahrez played it to the waiting Fuchs 25 yards out and his shot flew over the top, but Spurs went closer a minute later, as Walker got past Fuchs and pulled a low ball back to Dele, just inside the box. He struck the ball first time, but it cannoned back off the bar.
Madley had already warned the blue shirts about pulling people as corners were coming in, so when Huth had a big right arm around Janssen and pulled him down, the penalty that resulted brought unashamed indignance from Huth and his team-mates. Their outrage was embarrassing, but Janssen picked himself up to clam the spot-kick down the middle of the goal jus far enough away from Schmeichel's dive to put Tottenham into a deserved lead.
Tottenham looked to take advantage of the goal and Rose bombed forward to hit a shot that was blocked and then from the corner, Eriksen played it early into the near post, while Leicester were still organising and Son hit a quick shot that went into the side-netting. When half-time came and the stats were displayed, Leicester had made 14 first half fouls. No bookings.
Steve Nash, a Spurs fan who made his legendary status in basketball in the US returned and his regular visits are well-received. The results from elsewhere told us that we needed this win to stay up with the top four, but within two minutes of the restart, Leicester had pulled level. It was a mis-placed header by Wanyama that went beyond Vertonghen and allowed Vardy to get away down the right and pull a low ball back across the box with Musa coming in behind Kyle Walker to shoot off Lloris to make it 1-1.
Spurs rushed to regain the lead with Janssen turning Huth and his shot was deflected just wide of the post, Son exchanged passes with Eriksen on the right corner of the box and curled a shot that Schmeichel comfortably saved and then Christian had a free-kick that hit the wall and was easy for the keeper to catch. The Dane in Leicester's goal was more fortunate in the next attack, when Jan played Danny Rose in on the left, passing it on to Eriksen. Rose continued his run and our Dane's effort hit him, but it fell kindly for Schmeichel, who fell on the ball. He had a nervy moment when Dier's header from a free-kick went high into the air and looked to be dropping in front of goal, but it fell on the roof of the net and had taken a touch off a defender, so it was another corner. But, like so many today, it failed to beat the first man and was cleared. We really need to work on something other than an ear post corner, as our failure to make attempts on goal form set-pieces is costing us.
Spurs were firing in shots, but they were either off target or blocked by defenders, then Janssen took over free-kick duty when a 20 yard shot from the right corner of the box flew a foot over the bar, with Schmeichel rooted to the spot. Janssen turned Huth again and this time missed by a foot low down at the foot of the post, but Leicester had a chance when a cross was knocked out but luckily for Spurs it fell to Fuchs, who hit the top tier of the Park Lane with his shot.
Spurs brought on Georges-Kevin N'Koudou for the last ten minutes and his pace was a threat down the left, once forcing Simpson into a tackle for a corner and then he managed to dump the full back on his backside with a neat piece of skill. As time was running out, Tottenham attacked with more pace and Son had a shot blocked while a cross finally found a Spurs head, when Walker's ball in was thumped against the crossbar by Vertonghen's header. N'Koudou did well to put a pacy cross in low to the near post, but no Spurs player had read his intentions and Leicester's aerial bombardment started to test Spurs, with King's header forcing Hugo down to his left to save and then Ulloa headed wide as he rose highest to nod a free-kick at goal. With Jan going close to his first goal in a long time, he tried his luck with a curling shot as he moved forward, but it went wide and Danny hit a shot that went way too high as the final whistle gave Leicester a point.
This was a sharper performance by Spurs, but the opposition know that by closing Spurs down and not giving them time to play, they have the chance of taking something from a match. The constant string of contact after the ball had gone and players sliding in with no intent on getting the ball made us hurry our game and not get the rhythm going that they are used to. It wasn't helped by the steady chain of free-kicks being given, with no consideration of letting play continue with the team in possession having an advantage.
It was one more point than we got from this game last season, but it should have been more. Leicester didn't deserve much from their performance, but we have still to develop the knack of killing teams off. Often today, players were trying to score the perfect goal and with one touch or one pass too many, it meant the opportunity disappeared. Sometimes an early shot from a position outside the box will catch a keeper out and we failed to test Schmeichel enough today, despite all the possession and the shots, only five were on target.
I am not sure how this game would have panned out under the control of another referee, as this one lost control early on with his insistence on allowing Huth and Morgan to get away with foul after foul. He even failed to book Huth when he conceded the penalty and moaned in his face. When he booked Vardy for dissent to the one official out there who had a half-decent game after giving Musa offside, he failed to act on the dissent that the striker then gave him. They will never gain "Respect" until they show that their authority applies to all at all times. I am not sure why Madley was having a running conversation with Vardy throughout most of the second half either.
Anybody of the main match official's age who calls himself "Bobby" is someone who doesn't deserve to hold a whistle in the Premier League let alone blow it.
Leicester City were the
founder members of the East Midlands Football League in 1870, but
were dismissed from the league for the little known breach of League
rules known as 'Beagling'.
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|Match programme sponsors||-|
|Match shirt sponsors||-|
|What you thought|
|Sid E. Netting||
That was as an appalling display of officiating from all three
purple shirted people that I have ever seen. How they could
have allowed what went on before Danny Rose was shown a yellow card
for waving a hand in frustration at Okazaki going to ground as he
did almost every time a white shirt came near him is a joke.
But this is the referee (and I use the term lightly) that has given Spurs three penalties in game she has refereed us ... all against Leicester !!
And as for the team we played ! Well, last season they were no different and haven't been for a number of seasons under different managers. Making the most of any touch, getting in the officials' faces, wasting time, niggly fouls, shirt-pulling. Ranieri thought they were outstanding. He is entitled to his opinion and will protect his side, but in my view it was like watching Stoke.
Champions - and they
deserved it for their season long performance last season - but they
are not playing like champions and lack the class of champions.
|Benny The Ball||
'Outstanding' Ranieri said. Well, if he meant in getting away
with it, then he was right.
Getting away with persistent fouling (a bookable offence in the Laws of the Game) and with a point from a shocking performance, so yes outstanding in that respect, but they will be standing out of the Champions League positions this season, as they are not the machine that ground out results last season. They did the same here last season, not deserving to win, but this time they are two points down on the day and we are one up.
Still unbeaten, but the
draws are holding us back, although we are still not playing to our
|Other scores during this week :|
|West Bromwich Albion||0||Manchester City||4||Saturday|
|Everton||2||West Ham United London||0||Sunday|
|Stoke City||3||Swansea City||1||Monday|
|League Table 2016-17|
|16||West Bromwich Albion||10||2||4||4||10||14||10||-4|
|17||West Ham United London||10||3||1||6||10||19||10||-9|
Position before match :
Position after match : 4th
Position after the weekend : 5th
* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.
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