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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Leicester City v Spurs, 26.12.14

This week - last year
What happened in the Premiership in Match 18 2013-14

See the current injury list for all Premiership Teams
All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

Full Record of Spurs -v- Leicester City

Premier       Pl  W  D  L   For- Ag Pts
Home           8  3  2  3   14 -13  11
Away           8  2  1  5    9 -16   7
Total(Prem)   16  5  3  8   23 -29  18
Football Lge
Home(Div 1)   29 13  6 10   64 -46  34
Away(Div 1)   29 16  4  9   53 -54  40
Total(Div 1)  58 29 10 19  117 -100 74
Football Lge
Home(Div 2)    7  3  3  1   12 - 7   9
Away(Div 2)    7  4  1  2   14 -13   9
Total(Div 2)  14  7  4  3   26 -20  18
Total(Prem)   16  5  3  8   23 -29  18
Total(Div 1)  58 29 10 19  117 -100 74
Total(Div 2)  14  7  4  3   26 -20  18
Grand Total   88 41 17 30  166 -149 108

Last Six Premier League results:-

Leicester -    DLLLLL

Leicester  0-0   S'derland
QPR        3-2   Leicester
Leicester  1-3   Liverpool
A. Villa   2-1   Leicester
Leicester  0-1   Man City
West Ham   2-0   Leicester

Spurs     -    WWLDWW

Hull       1-2   Spurs
Spurs      2-1   Everton
Chelsea    3-0   Spurs
Spurs      0-0   C. Palace
Swansea    1-2   Spurs
Spurs      2-1   Burnley

Pos            P  W  D  L   F-A   GD  Pts
 7. Spurs     17  8  3  6  22-23  -1   27 
20. Leicester 17  2  4 11  15-29 -14   10

Don't expect a walk in the park, here

Whatever happens to Nigel Pearson's Leicester this season, their fans will happily recall the day they beat Manchester United 5-3 on September 21st. The trouble is, that's the last time those fans saw their team win any game.

After an opening day 2-2 draw against Everton; another respectful draw at home to Arsenal, and a surprise 1-0 win at Stoke, Leicester had every right to feel optimistic about their chances of establishing a foothold in the Premier League, from which they had been absent for 10 years, even taking a dive to third tier football for a season.

Star signing Argentinean Jose Leonardo Ulloa (pronounced oo-yo-a) had arrived in the summer from Brighton, and scored 5 goals in those early games for his new team, including two against United, but he, and his team, have more or less dried up in recent weeks.

Leicester have lost 10 of their last 12 games, and only scored six goals in the process. Ulloa's only goal in those games has been away to Aston Villa, where Leicester took the lead, but were clawed back by goals from Ciaran Clark, and former Spur, Alan Hutton, who scored his first goal in 4 years. That previous goal had been in Spurs' colours too!

After being booted out of the League Cup by Shrewsbury Town at The King Power Stadium, Leicester's season has fallen into some despair after the joy of last season's promotion. Here they are, bottom at Christmas, and we all know what happens to clubs which are bottom at Christmas, don't we? Moreover, barring a massive win, Leicester's position will not change after this game.

The last time we played a league game at Leicester, Mbulelo Mabizela made his Premier League debut, and scored a cracking goal too. Fredi Kanoute snatched all three points with a late winner, after Paul Dickov had given Leicester the lead. The Leicester team that day featured former Spurs, Ian Walker, and Les Ferdinand. When they came to White Hart Lane later in that season, Steffen Freund and Ben Thatcher were in the team too.

That league meeting was not the last time we played at The King Power Stadium (renamed in 2011, having formerly been the Walker Stadium). That was a less auspicious occasion for Spurs, who lost a Third Round FA Cup match 3-2. Having been knocked out of the League Cup at the first hurdle by Grimsby, we endured Martin Jol's gift of a shortest ever season for Tottenham Hotspur, with just 40 games. We did finish "best of the rest" in fifth place though.

When I think of past trips to Leicester's old Filbert Street Stadium, I think of our viewing position in a "lowly cattle shed"; stadium host Alan Birchenall (who played more games for Leicester than any of his numerous other clubs); and Coronation Street's Roy Cropper, aka actor David Neilson, who used to parade around the ground, particularly in end of season games.

Trips to Leicester have often meant disappointing results too. Our Premier League record is not good against this club, which is having its fourth spell in The Premier League. Leicester enjoyed their heyday between 1995 and 2000 under Martin O'Neill, when they won two League Cups, lost won (against Spurs, of course), and thus played in Europe for the first time since they lost the 1961 FA Cup Final to the Spurs Double winning side.

The bottom line is that Mauricio Pochettino will pay full respect to a team, which lost only 1-0 recently to Manchester City. Other defeats have been tight too. With Manchester United and Chelsea to come in our next two games, there will surely be a need to "use the squad wisely". Although Ryan Mason is said to be in the reckoning for this game, I suspect we'll see Benjamin Stambouli make his first Premier League start. How our head coach manages the rest of his selection is not predictable.

Nigel Pearson will be serving his one-game touchline ban for this game, but as he naturally spends most of his time in the stands, that should not make any difference to his team. Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has a metatarsal injury, and will be missing for another four weeks. Ben Hamer has been stepping in between the sticks.

So, don't expect a walk in the Park here. It's a game that Leicester will be desperate to win, with away trips to Hull and Liverpool next on their agenda. I think that Spurs will win this one, but that as usual, it will be tight. I'm going for my oft-used 2-1 win prediction. Hopefully, we won't have to wait till the 90th minute for this one! The match referee is Neil Swarbrick, who was in charge for our away win at Villa Park!

Happy Christmas to all readers!

On Boxing Day 10 years ago, Spurs beat Norwich 2-0 at Carrow Road

Did you know? 100 years ago, despite the onset of The Great War, official League Football was played until the end of the 1914-15 season. On Boxing Day 100 years ago, Spurs beat Sheffield Wednesday 6-1, with goals by Harry Sparrow, Bert Bliss (4), and Bobby Steel. Of the Spurs team that played that day, Edward Lightfoot and Findlay Weir would make the supreme sacrifice, amongst other Spurs players.

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