Barclays Premier League – Sunday Fixtures, Team News, & Predictions
By Marc Gingell
Tottenham Hotspur (3) v Leicester City (11) 10th Feb Kick-off 13:30
Manchester City (2) v Chelsea (4) 10th Feb Kick-off 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur (3) v Leicester City (11) – Wembley Kick-off 13:30
Spurs, five points behind Manchester City and Liverpool (now 8 for Liverpool), have ground out three league wins in a row in difficult circumstances. Late goals against Fulham, Watford, and Newcastle just saw them past the post and maybe this Spurs team aren’t exactly the soft touch that Gary Neville commented about recently.
Son is enjoying a fine season and one of the main reasons Spurs are doing so well. He’s scored ten during the last 11 games. But he didn’t really feature too much during Spurs first 12 games as Mauricio Pochettino gave Lucas Moura a try. Moura started well, with three goals in three games including two in the 3-0 win at Old Trafford. Since then he’s only managed three in eighteen appearances.
Son, called up by South Korea for the Asian Cup, flew immediately back when Qatar surprisingly knocked his country out in the quarter-final. Despite fatigue, he managed to score an 80th minute leveller against Watford and the 83rd minute winner against Newcastle. The question is can he find something in his tank to make an impact today?
Tottenham Hotspur Injury / Fitness Update
Ben Davies: Groin Injury – Unknown return date
Bamidele Alli: Hamstring injury – Expected back 02 Mar
Eric Dier: Illness – Expected back 23 Feb
Harry Kane: Ankle injury – Expected back 23 Feb
Leicester finished 2018 with a 1-0 win at Chelsea, 2-1 home win against Manchester City, and finally a 1-0 home defeat to Cardiff. That sums up the inconsistency of Leicester’s season although they did manage a 1-0 win at Everton. But the following week Newport County knocked them out of the FA Cup 2-1. Since then they’ve lost three and drawn one. The draw came at Liverpool.
Puel Under Pressure
Leicester boss Claude Puel is under pressure and seems to have been all season. For most of the season, he’s been a hot favourite in the Barclays Premier League’s next manager to be sacked sack race. In fact, he’s just be knocked down to the second favourite, at 7/2, by Everton’s Marco Silva who’s 11/8. Puel is a kind of French version of Roy Hodgson. He’s not really going to show too much emotion or do cartwheels when Leicester score! Maybe that’s his problem as fans today do want their managers to be seen, heard, and sprinting on to the pitch when their team scores.
On January, 1st, as Leicester beat Everton 1-0 at Goodison, Vardy scored in the 58th minute. He’s since gone four games without scoring which mirrors the inconsistency of his teams form. He had a stretch of five back in October / November 2018 and he will be keen to add to his seven Premier League goals this season.
Leicester City Injury / Fitness Update
Marc Albrighton: Hamstring injury – Unknown return date
Daniel Amartey: Leg injury – Expected back 02 Mar
Spurs have dug in and finished on top during their last three games which is a credit to their manager Mauricio Pochettino. But, with a Champions League game coming up against Dortmund on Wednesday, Vardy could take the opportunity to end his goal drought.
Tottenham Hotspur 0 Leicester City 1
Manchester City (2) v Chelsea (5) – The Etihad Kick-off 16:00
In this corresponding fixture last year, March, 4th, Chelsea played one of the most extraordinary Premier League games ever witnessed. Then managed by Antonio Conte Chelsea didn’t exactly park the bus, they parked a fleet of them. They gifted Manchester City 71% possession. City just knocked the ball around as if they were out for a kick around in the park. City won 1-0 thanks to a 46th minute goal by Bernado Silva after being set up by namesake David.
Silva is third favourite at 8/1 to be the PFA Player of the Season this Year. Liverpool ‘s Virgil van Dijk is a hot favourite at 5/6 with Mo Salah second at 6/1. If City, who Silva has been magnificent for this season, do win the title then there’s a very good chance he will take the award.
If anyone does need a definition, of a slide rule to perfection pass, then it’s David Silva. This season he has six goals and four assists. But so often he’s played the perfect ball into the channels for someone like, Bernardo Silva or Leroy Sané, to place a simple tap-in cross into the heart of opposition’s penalty boxes. Those two players have 17 assists between them this season.
Manchester City Injury / Fitness Update
Claudio Bravo: Achilles injury – Unknown return date
Benjamin Mendy: Knee injury – Unknown return date
Vincent Kompany: Knock – Unknown return date
Chelsea, until knocking five past Huddersfield, were having a terrible time in front of goal and averaging one goal every 90 minutes for 13 games. Before Huddersfield! But what happens now?
Well, the new Hitman is in and he looked like a mean and moody Spanish bull-fighter after being withdrawn during Chelsea’s pummelling at Bournemouth. Against Huddersfield, he grabbed two of the five and it will be interesting to see how he gets on during the rest of the season. He’s proven at the highest level but now deemed not good enough for Juventus and A.C. Milan. But good enough for Chelsea!
Chelsea Injury / Fitness Update
Callum Hudson-Odoi: Illness – 75% chance of playing.
These two teams lead the Premiership in terms of completed passes. City have 18,184 and Chelsea 17,471. Topping the individual passing charts is Chelsea’s Jorginho with 2,219. But he has no assists and one penalty goal. In this game Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri, still under pressure and up there with the front runners in the sack race, might want to consider playing N’Golo Kanté in his more traditional holding midfield role.
Manchester City 4 Chelsea 0