- Tottenham vs Leicester kicks off at 2.15pm on Sky Sports Main Event
36 mins – Tottenham 0 Leicester 0
Kane shoots from the free-kick but Schmeichel has a relatively easy time of saving it as it comes off Evans in the wall.
Leicester’s coaching staff are getting annoyed with many of the referee’s decisions, suggesting there have been a lot of inconsistent calls. I think he’s done pretty well so far. It’s a horrible game.
33 mins – Tottenham 0 Leicester 0
Foul foul foul foul foul a few seconds of passing then a foul foul foul. Ndidi the latest to hack someone down.
30 mins – Tottenham 0 Leicester 0
Any possibility of either team getting in behind is cancelled out by a tackle or foul at the earliest possible opportunity. Vardy is taken out at one end and then Kane is wiped out with a sore one by Albrighton at the other.
27 mins – Tottenham 0 Leicester 0
Still the same. Both teams have possession for a little bit of time, get forward, are outnumbered, possession swaps.
24 mins – Tottenham 0 Leicester 0
Lots of niggly little fouls at both ends of the midfield, where the entire game is bascially being played. It’s two teams scared to attack each other.
21 mins – Tottenham 0 Leicester 0
Leicester win a corner, take their time over it, and eventually nothing comes of it. This is a very 0-0 kind of game.
18 mins – Tottenham 0 Leicester 0
Maddison tries a hopeful shot from 25 yards but it’s never going in. Vardy applauds the intent anyway.
17 mins – Tottenham 0 Leicester 0
All of a sudden Kane is one v two with the defence and everything seems to slow down. He bundles the ball wide for Son, who could shoot from a difficult angle but looks for low through-ball to the corner of the six yard box… and puts it out for a goal kick.
14 mins – Tottenham 0 Leicester 0
Hojbjerg lets Maddison know he’s in a game by… sort of catching him maybe while both go for the same ball. That could probably have gone either way to be honest and I think Maddison’s reaction is what wins him a free-kick.
The set piece is sent to the far post, Barnes heads it in, Fofana sneakily slides it into Vardy rather than shooting himself and Vardy shoots. It hits a body and lands in Lloris’ gloves.
11 mins – Tottenham 0 Leicester 0
Spurs staying patient with their build up, Leicester waiting for them at the half way line. It’s two teams who want to counter-attack but like to zip the ball around in possession. Very tactical.
8 mins – Tottenham 0 Leicester 0
Fofana is one of the best young defenders I think I’ve ever seen by the way. Upemacano and the other transfer gossip players are often touted as the absolute highest prospects but I get the same feeling of confidence from Fofana as I did Van Dijk when I used to watch him play at Celtic.
5 mins – Tottenham 0 Leicester 0
I think Leicester are playing a back three of Evans – Fofana – Justin. Leicester prepare to defend another free-kick from wide but Son passes inside with a slack bit of control and Barnes races a good 70 yards up the pitch. Eventually he runs into trouble and can’t get away.
3 mins – Tottenham 0 Leicester 0
Ndombele takes an easly kick to the ankle and hobbles away as Spurs line up their free-kick, which is chipped out for a goal kick.
Here come the players
Into a lovely, big empty stadium. It was so much better with fans these last few weeks. Damn you, virus!
The managers pre-match
“Nothing change, match after match, it doesn’t matter. We are going to try to win.
“The coach, the players quality make the team that they are. Brendan is creative, he has his team playing in different ways, they are able to change. They are very good on counter-attack but also very good in organised football.”
“They’ve always been good in spell of counter-attacks. Under Mauricio they were forward thinking but when they had to counter-attack they had those qualities, I think you just see counter-attacks a lot more now.”
‘He is one of the best, maybe the best, at getting results’
Toby Alderweireld is a big fan of Jose Mourinho.
“He is one of the best, maybe the best, at getting results,” says Alderweireld of Mourinho.
“He is obsessed with winning. But not only winning, also how we want to play as a team. He makes us a team, not only the guys that play, but even those on the bench and involved in the squad.
“To be a team, to have a goal and to do everything in your power to reach that goal.”
What could change this afternoon?
The table looks like this:
Whoever wins goes second, if it’s a draw then Man Utd could leapfrog both into second if they beat Leeds later today. It’s a big game, basically.
How the two teams will play
Spurs have become masters of the counter-attack under Mourinho while Leicester are very useful in possession – both teams could end up cancelling each other out if they get stuck into the midfield battle. I think both sides are in 4-2-3-1 shapes different approaches likely. Expect a lot of this from Spurs though:
Jose Mourinho the wind up king is BACK
Oh how we’ve missed him. Now that Jose Mourinho is back in something of a title race, he’s started his media antics to try and wind up his direct competitors, namely Jurgen Klopp. I’m not sure he’ll do it to Brendan Rodgers who presumably still has some nice memories of his time working at Chelsea while Mourinho was coach. Rodgers was heavily influenced by Mourinho’s coaching sessions and style at the start of his career.
Rodgers would have been 34 when he joined the Chelsea academy setup with Steve Clarke, with Mourinho 10 years his senior and yes, I agree that sounds like something I’m making up. I need to re-check it… and Mourinho is definitely 57 years old. Odd.
Here’s what he’s said this week on his various protegees:
“It’s not about me giving them a chance. It’s about them having that potential to develop. If they feel I had any responsibility for what they did, then great, of course, I feel very happy with that – but it’s about them.
“Brendan had to go to lower divisions and smaller clubs before he reached Liverpool and Scotland [Celtic] and went to Leicester. Nothing was given to him on a silver plate. I always felt he was a young guy with talent and desire to learn.
“He’s a fantastic coach. That’s the only thing I can say, it’s nothing to do with our relationship, and I’m really happy he’s doing so well.”
Anyway, Mourinho knows today will be a difficult match but is still intent on winding up Jurgen Klopp and trying to unsettle him at Liverpool in the same way he had a thoroughly entertaining (and toxic) exchange of messages through the press with Pep Guardiola during his time in Spain.
“I was for many years a good example of bad behaviour on the touchline, and I was always punished for it.
“In this moment, I honestly consider myself – and I believe the referees feel the same – a great example of good behaviour on the touchline.
“But I see others doing incredible things, some of them going in a direction I would never go, and nothing happens. This I can speak about, because I live it. I live day-by-day [on] the touchline.”
He’s also been talking about the return of Sam Allardyce, a manager who once claimed he had ‘out tacticted’ Mourinho:
“I am very sad with Slaven Bilic leaving. It shows how football is today. Promotion last year and this year seven points from a very difficult start. I feel very very bad for him.
“On the other side, for Big Sam and Small Sammy, both back, I’m very happy. They are good guys they are good friends they still have a lot to give, despite people thinking that after so many years you get tired and lose ambition, these guys don’t get tired, they don’t lose ambition.”