Premier League Spurs seek end to winless streak against Leicester

Tottenham were the club that chased the Foxes the hardest last season before having to settle for third place.

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Tottenham Hotspur's English defender Eric Dier has now racked up 98 appearances for Tottenham since joining from Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon in August 2014 play

Tottenham Hotspur's English defender Eric Dier has now racked up 98 appearances for Tottenham since joining from Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon in August 2014

(AFP/File)
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Tottenham Hotspur will kick off at home to champions Leicester City on Saturday as the Premier League's only remaining unbeaten team and just a single point behind leaders Manchester City.

Yet they will do so outside the Champions League qualification slots in fifth place and without a victory in their last four fixtures.

Those statistics support claims that this season's race for the title could end up being one of the tightest in living memory after surprise package Leicester ended up winning it so comprehensively last term.

Tottenham were the club that chased the Foxes the hardest but Mauricio Pochettino's men fell away sharply in the last four games and had to settle for third place.

Leicester always seemed to have their noses in front and that was the case when the two sides met at White Hart Lane when Robert Huth's header was enough for a 1-0 win.

Claudio Ranieri's players have found life much tougher now they are champions but enjoyed the luxury of no midweek match as a much-changed Spurs were eliminated from the EFL Cup at Liverpool on Tuesday.

Defensive midfielder Eric Dier, who captained the north London club at Anfield, is likely to be played in central defence should Toby Alderweireld require extra time to recover from a leg injury.

"We've now got a massive game against Leicester which will mean a lot to everyone for different reasons so everyone is now fully focused on that," England international Dier said.

"I feel like we were in a title race with them last season and they got the better of us in the game at home and that changed where the league went. It's an important game for us."

Dier has now racked up 98 appearances for Tottenham since joining from Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon in August 2014.

"I didn't know until now that I was getting so close to 100 appearances for Tottenham so that'll be another big moment for me," he said. "I couldn't have imagined two years ago that I'd be in this position.

"It's fantastic for me but I want to build on that and I want to keep improving my appearances and maybe get the armband a couple more times as well."

Spurs forward Harry Kane has had a week of training as he steps up his rehabilitation from an ankle injury but is unlikely to feature on Saturday.

Foxes on bad away run

Leicester have won their last two fixtures, with a 3-1 home success over Crystal Palace adding to a third straight Champions League victory, the 1-0 home win against Copenhagen.

The Foxes remain in the bottom half of the table, however, and have lost all four of their away games in the Premier League so far this season.

Leicester City remain in the bottom half of the table, however, and have lost all four of their away games in the Premier League so far this season play

Leicester City remain in the bottom half of the table, however, and have lost all four of their away games in the Premier League so far this season

(AFP/File)

"We've worked very well this week," Leicester manager Ranieri said. "I watched them very closely and everybody has worked well, so I'm happy.

"I think we've had very good preparation. When you play every three days it's very difficult to maintain it and recharge the batteries. But now we are ready for Saturday.

"Tottenham are the only unbeaten team because they have a very good squad and Pochettino can rotate his players," the Italian added.

"We lost the four (away) matches because we weren't so concentrated. Now I believe my players are solid again and will make better matches."

Midfielder Andy King was unable to complete the Palace game because of a shin injury but has been passed fit to face Spurs.

Nampalys Mendy remains sidelined for at least another month, however, following surgery to remove bone fragments from an ankle.

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