May 18, 2017 at 7.45pm UK at ​King Power Stadium
Attendance: 31,351
LeicesterLeicester City
SpursTottenham Hotspur
Chilwell (59')
Albrighton (65'), Gray (75'), Simpson (80')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Kane (25', 63', 89', 92'), Heung-min (36', 71')
Sissoko (65')

Preview: Leicester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Sports Mole previews Thursday evening's Premier League meeting between Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur at the King Power Stadium.

Tottenham Hotspur take on Leicester City in their penultimate game of the Premier League season on Thursday night, less than a week on from seeing their outside title hopes come to an end.

Spurs can still be more than happy with their season on the whole, while opponents Leicester will themselves take positives away from a challenging campaign after recovering to remain on course for the top half.

Leicester City

Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy in action during the Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on October 29, 2016© SilverHub

Almost exactly a year on from ousting Tottenham Hotspur to claim a memorable Premier League title triumph, recently-dethroned champions Leicester are now left jostling for position in mid-table as we enter the final few days of the campaign.

This season may not have provided the same sort of memories as last season - domestically speaking, at least - but it is an achievement in itself that the Foxes are carefree at this stage in proceedings and not desperately fighting for their survival.

While the sacking of popular boss Claudio Ranieri may have left a sour taste in the mouth, there is no denying that the club's Thai backers have been justified in their decision to part company with the Italian, replacing him with former assistant Craig Shakespeare in March.

It is worth remembering just how badly City were struggling at the time, losing a crucial game at Swansea to drop to within one point of the bottom three, only for Shakespeare to pick up five league wins on the spin to instead lead the club into top-half contention.

That is where they have remained pretty much ever since, sitting three points behind 10th-placed Bournemouth - visitors here on the final day - with a game in hand still left to play. Far from having little to play for, Shakespeare will be desperate to at the very least match previously dethroned champions Chelsea in finishing 10th.

Leicester's form has not been quite as strong in recent weeks, winning just two of their last six matches in a run that includes a cruel loss at Manchester City last weekend, having done well to battle back and potentially steal a point if not for Riyad Mahrez's penalty shocker.

Shakespeare still boasts a more-than-respectable record in his two months at the helm, though, winning eight and drawing two of his 14 games in charge overall, while also winning five league games in succession at the King Power Stadium - they last went six in a row without dropping a point in the top flight in March 1966.

Three home clean sheets in succession have certainly helped the Foxes, while at the same time scoring at least two goals in each of their last five here, meaning that visitors Tottenham have their work cut out if they end things on a high.

Recent form in Premier League: LDLWWL
Recent form (all competitions): DDLWWL

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino watches on during the Premier League clash with Watford at Vicarage Road on January 1, 2017© SilverHub

No matter what happens in these remaining two fixtures, and regardless of those who attempt to discredit them due to their lack of silverware, this has been a truly impressive season for the Lilywhites.

A new record seemingly being set every week, Tottenham ended their home campaign with a convincing 2-1 triumph over Manchester United last time out to make it 14 successive wins at White Hart Lane - their best-such run since 1987.

That victory over the Red Devils also ensured that they went the duration of 2016-17 without tasting a league defeat in their final season at The Lane, yet in many ways that will surely make the transition to their new ground - via Wembley - all the more difficult.

It remains to be seen whether Spurs will adapt to life at Wembley after some disappointing results there this term, most recently the 4-2 FA Cup semi-final reverse to Chelsea last month, but with boss Mauricio Pochettino at the helm the future certainly looks positive.

The former Espanyol and Southampton chief has verbally committed his future to the North London outfit, insisting that he does not have a buyout clause in his contract and he will definitely not be lured away by Barcelona or Inter Milan during the summer.

Questions over his future to one side, Pochettino is now determined to end the season with a bang after last term's late collapse when collecting just two points from the last 12 on offer, including successive defeats to see things through.

Even accounting for the 1-0 reverse away to rivals West Ham United a fortnight ago - the killer result in their pursuit of Chelsea - Tottenham are still the form team in the division over the past few months, winning 10 of their last 11 league games.

Eighty points from 36 games is already higher than the tallies accumulated by second-placed Arsenal (71) and Manchester City (79) in the past two seasons and, with their best Prem finish in the bag, Pochettino can begin preparing for what appears to be a very bright future ahead.

Recent form in Premier League: WWWWLW
Recent form (all competitions): WLWWLW

Team News

Tottenham Hotspur defender Kyle Walker in action during the North London derby against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on November 6, 2016© SilverHub

Spurs confirmed this week that Danny Rose will undergo surgery and will likely now miss the start of next season, while questions still remain over the future of fellow full-back Kyle Walker.

Walker will miss Thursday's match through injury, as will Kieran Trippier, so Ben Davies could be joined by Eric Dier in that now-troublesome position.

Pochettino may be tempted to give Vincent Janssen and Moussa Sissoko some playing time in these final two matches, meanwhile, but Harry Kane will be desperate to start as he is just two goals adrift of Everton's Romelu Lukaku at the top of the scoring charts.

In terms of the home side, Daniel Amartey, Demarai Gray and Islam Slimani are all in contention to start, with the latter possibly joining Jamie Vardy - nine goals and three assists since Shakespeare took over - up top.

Marc Albrighton is another who looks rejuvenated under the new man in charge, being directly involved in seven league goals in 10 outings, compared to one in 21 under Ranieri, but squad rotation may cost him a spot in the side for this match.

Elsewhere, Nampalys Mendy and Danny Drinkwater are still absent for the Foxes, while Andy King, Robert Huth and skipper Wes Morgan are all in a race against time due to fitness concerns.

Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Simpson, Benalouane, Fuchs, Chilwell; Mahrez, Ndidi, Amartey, Gray; Slimani, Vardy

Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Wanyama, Dembele; Son, Eriksen, Alli; Kane

Head To Head

Leicester are winless in their last three home Premier League games against Tottenham, following a previous run that saw them lose just one of seven.

These two sides have met five times in all competitions since the start of 2015-16, sharing one win apiece and drawing the other three, including the 1-1 tie in the reverse encounter in August.

City have failed to net only once in 10 previous home games against the Lilywhites in the Prem, coming in a 1-0 loss here in April 2000.

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Leicester City 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Leicester's best memories this season may have been saved for the European stage, but they can be happy with a top-half finish in the Premier League after such a poor start to the campaign. For that to be achievable they realistically need to take something off Tottenham, who are already assured of second place and may well lack the energy and drive we have witnessed for much of the season.

Who will win Thursday evening's Premier League meeting between Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur?

Leicester City
Tottenham Hotspur
Leicester City
Tottenham Hotspur
Leicester City midfielder Danny Drinkwater in action during his side's Premier League clash with West Bromwich Albion at the King Power Stadium on November 6, 2016
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