Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City Betting Preview
Back Tottenham to progress to the FA Cup fourth round with a win
What a game this promises to be. Two teams in top form, and with dreams of playing Champions League football next season, will meet at White Hart Lane on Sunday, with Tottenham hoping to revenge their fourth-round exit from the competition at the hands of the Foxes last season. Despite sitting two places below Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester in the Premier League table (4th – 36 points), Tottenham are looking like very strong contenders to win the tie with only one defeat in their last 14 games in all competitions, as well as finding the net in 14 of their last 15. Mauricio Poccetino has certainly found the right balance this season and will be looking to secure a piece of silverware to complete what is promising to be a very impressive season indeed.
The Lilywhites have only lost twice at home all season, one of which came against Arsenal in the third round of the League Cup back in September, which means high-flying Leicester will be in for a tough test on Sunday. Poccetino’s side have, however, found it difficult to find that cutting edge in the final third at times this season, and have drawn four of their last nine Premier League outings. The 1-1 draw with Everton on Sunday was their ninth in the league so far, and they’ll have to find that extra spark at the weekend to avoid falling to a second consecutive FA Cup defeat to Leicester. Spurs have won the competition eight times, the last of which came back in 1991, but I think they’ve got a really good chance of making it nine this season. I’m backing them to progress on Sunday.
Leicester’s early season form has started to fade away ever so slightly in recent weeks, with their last three league games consisting of two 0-0 draws and a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool. However the Foxes are still second in the Premier League, and are only two points adrift of leaders Arsenal. Their run of performances this season have been formidable, unthinkable to most, and that defeat to Liverpool on Boxing Day was only their second defeat of the season and their first away from home – a record that will work in their favour when they head to North London in two days’ time.
The fact that Ranieri’s men managed to find the net in 20 of their opening 21 games in all competitions certainly won’t harm their chances, neither will the fact that they’ve won four of their last five away games. The Foxes, despite never winning the trophy, have finished as FA Cup runners-up four times, but it’s been almost 50 years since they last achieved that feat. Their 2-1 victory over Spurs in last year’s fourth round will certainly give them confidence, knowing that a victory on Sunday is very possible. If there’s any season for Leicester to go on and win the competition, it has to be this year. Maybe it will be, but I can see them falling to a premature exit at White Hart Lane this weekend.
Leicester hold the upper hand in recent meetings between the two sides, winning nine of the previous 19 encounters to Spurs’ six. The last meeting came back in August when the two sides played out a 1-1 draw at the King Power Stadium. Despite only beating Spurs away from home once since the turn of the century, their two FA Cup wins over Tottenham in the last 10 years suggests that they shouldn’t be ruled out altogether.
To score first – Harry Kane 17/5
Kane has 13 goals to his name in all competitions this season, and also has four goals in four appearances against the Foxes, including a hat-trick in last season’s 4-3 victory at White Hart Lane. He’s also opened the scoring for Tottenham in five league games thus far this campaign, so I would recommend backing the Englishman to score first on Sunday with odds of 17/5.
Both teams to score – Yes 4/5
Despite Leicester failing to find the net in their last three outings, I would recommend backing both teams to score on Sunday as the head to head record between the two sides suggests that it’s more than likely. Both teams have scored in all of the last ten meetings, producing an almighty total of 43 goals. Last season’s 4-3 thriller at White Hart Lane was one of the games of the season, and with 34 and 37 league goals this season respectively, I would be very, very surprised if either side failed to register at least one goal on Sunday, and odds of 4/5 for both teams to score are well worth taking.
Match odds – Tottenham 4/7
In what promises to be one of the ties of the round, Tottenham are firm favourites to win and progress to the fourth round with odds of 4/7, and I would recommend backing them to advance. The away side, who we all know are more than capable of pulling off a surprise victory, are priced at 5/1 to beat Poccetino’s men on their own patch, with a draw and the need for a replay priced at 16/5.
Writer’s Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 1 Leicester City
*Odds correct at the time of publication, click here for all the latest odds on upcoming football matches.