It last important game in the Premier League. Tottenham Hotspur will be aiming for the UEFA Europa League when they face Leicester City in the last Premier League match of the season on Sunday.
The penultimate matchday of the Premier League‘s 2020/21 season features a number of key matchups in the fight for European qualification. The King Power Stadium hosts one of the most crucial of them, with Leicester City hosting Europa League aspirants Tottenham Hotspur.
In the race for Champions League spots, Leicester City may be in danger of missing out after dropping out of the top four following a defeat to Chelsea.
As a result, to finish in the top four, Brendan Rodgers’ side must secure all three points against. Hoping that Liverpool loses points in their final day match against Crystal Palace.
On the other hand, Tottenham Hotspur has no chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season. But they are aiming for a Europa League place this weekend.
With 59 points, the Lilywhites are currently in seventh place in the league rankings. They can finish in the top six if they beat Leicester City, but they also need West Ham to lose to Southampton.
On the other hand, if Arsenal and Everton both win their respective matches against Brighton and Manchester City. The north London giants might drop to ninth place in the rankings, therefore shutting them out of Europe.
The ramifications may be confusing, but there’s little doubt that both Tottenham and Leicester City will be eager to secure those three points. And we’ll take a closer look at them here at the Barcelona Agency before their Saturday showdown at the King Power Stadium.
Team News & Tactics
Brendan Rodgers will have to make some critical decisions regarding team selection, as Jonny Evans is poised to miss out due to injury. Timothy Castagne, along with Caglar Soyuncu and Wesley Fofana, may have to play on the right side of the three-man backline once more.
Wes Morgan is a more natural option, but the veteran is unlikely to be used against Tottenham’s front three due to his lack of pace. Rodgers may also choose the safer option at right wingback by selecting Ricardo Pereira over Marc Albrighton, who is more attack-minded.
On the other hand, Luke Thomas is a lock to start on the other side. These two wingbacks will be crucial in providing additional passing options in possession to Wilfred Ndidi and Youri Tielemans’ midfielders.
They might also constitute the second line of the press to defend the back three in defensive postures, with Ndidi dropping deeper and acting as an auxiliary center-back. James Maddison may join Tielemans in the center of the park as a result. It last important game in the Premier League.
Otherwise, the Englishman will task with providing the attacking game of Leicester City with a creative element. His set-piece prowess, in particular, might cause difficulties for Tottenham’s defense. At the same time, the former Norwich City midfielder will also try to find runners like Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho with his forward passes.
Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Schmeichel; Castagne, Soyuncu, Fofana; Pereira, Ndidi, Tielemans, Thomas; Maddison; Iheanacho, Vardy
During the midweek win against Aston Villa, Ryan Mason made several apparent alterations to his starting eleven. Due to the absence of Serge Aurier, Japhet Tanganga force him to start at right-back. But the teenager sustained a serious injury and will miss the game.
Aurier, on the other hand, is still a question mark, though we expect him to be ready to go ahead of Matt Doherty. The visitors’ four-man backline will be completed by Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier, and Sergio Reguilon, with this being the only defensive alteration in the team.
Harry Winks’ introduction in midfield was one of the most significant midweek adjustments. The Englishman ended up having a dismal game. Which could push Mason to return the far more creative Giovani Lo Celso to play with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the middle of the park.
The Dane should take on a bigger role in the double-pivot, aiming to be the enforcer. If he wants to avoid being overrun by Tielemans and Ndidi, he will need the added help of his partnered midfield.
Dele Alli enters the fray at this point. Under Mason, the playmaker has had a brief revival. Appearing in the last few games ahead of Tanguy Ndombele and Lucas Moura.
Although Alli expected to start at ten, it wouldn’t be shocking to see her assist Hojbjerg and Lo Celso during the defensive phases. Otherwise, he’ll try to make forward drives or find runners like Son Heung-Min, Harry Kane, and Gareth Bale in behind Leicester City’s defense.
However, it would be intriguing to watch if Mason chooses to start Steven Bergwijn, who was fairly impressive midweek. However, because the interim manager strongly prefers Bale, the former PSV winger may have to make do with a bench appearance.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Aurier, Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Lo Celso; Bale, Alli, Son; Kane
- Leicester City has won two of their last three league meetings against Tottenham Hotspur (L1). Equaling their previous 12-game winning streak. They’re aiming for their first league double against Spurs since 1998-99.
- Tottenham has failed to score against Leicester in one of their 14 Premier League away games. Scoring in each of their last 11 visits. On the other hand, the Spurs have only preserved two clean sheets in the competition against the Foxes.
- Leicester City has failed to win any of their last five-season finales (D3 L2), including one against Tottenham. After winning the final league game in seven successive seasons between 2008/09 and 2014/15.
- Only once in the last ten Premier League seasons has Tottenham lost their previous league game. Losing 5-1 to Newcastle United in 2015/16.
- Despite spending the third-longest time in the Premier League’s top four last season, Leicester City finished fifth (325 days). The Foxes have spent more time in the top four than any other Premier League team this season (242 days). Yet according to Opta, they have a 74.9 percent chance of finishing outside the top four.
Player to Watch
Following Tottenham Hotspur’s defeat to Aston Villa, Harry Kane’s decision to wave only to Tottenham Hotspur fans sparked widespread conjecture in the English media. With some experts interpreting it as a sign to interested parties to make a deal for the forward, who thought to be uneasy in north London at the time.
After ten professional seasons at Tottenham, this could very likely be Kane’s final game for the club. Although he has yet to win a competitive title with the Lilywhites, the Englishman has set numerous records. Including scoring 220 goals in only 335 competitive outings.
Kane is thus the man to watch, though it may also be an emotional occasion for Gareth Bale. As the Welshman plays his final game for Spurs before moving to the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer.
Leicester City 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Despite their humiliating Premier League loss to Chelsea, Leicester City are still the favorite going into this match. They’re significantly more technical, and they might benefit from Rodgers’ 3-5-2 formation. Which allows them to build numerical advantages in possession. At the same time, Hojbjerg’s fatigued legs ready exploited in the middle of the field.
The Foxes will have the support of their home fans in their final encounter of the season. And while they may have defensive scares on a couple of occasions. The Barcelona Agency predicts a 2-1 win this Sunday. It last important game in the Premier League.