Three reasons why Tottenham can win the Premier League under Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur are on track for their best domestic finish in the Premier League era. They have played some scintillating football, attacking with flare and defending with power. So why can they win the Premier League under Mauricio Pochettino? Lewis Addley explores…

The race to win the Premier League title is more intense with each passing week. There are ten points separating top spot and sixth place. Tottenham Hotspur are sitting in second place, seven points behind leaders Chelsea. Pochettino has shown exactly why Spurs deserve to be regarded as capable of winning the league and his continual improvement of the side since taking over points to glory in the future.

While we aren’t suggesting Spurs are going to win the title this season, albeit possible with plenty of games to play, Pochettino has them on the right track to provide the ultimate domestic silverware. Tottenham have lost just two games in the league this season, the joint lowest, while there is a bit of work to be done to turn draws into wins, Pochettino has his side close to where they need to be.

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So what are three key reasons why Pochettino’s Spurs can win the Premier League?

Respect – The players have shown they respect and trust their manager.

The unity of the Spurs squad is apparent for all to see, there doesn’t appear to be an ego in any player to suggest they’re more important than the team. In the wake of the appeal of moving to China, key figures in the Spurs camp have openly said there is no interest for them. Pochettino questioned players’ willingness to move, while talisman Harry Kane believes his teammates are not interested in big money moves, only achieving success at White Hart Lane.

Contracts – Spurs are tying down their players, not selling them.

The importance of not being seen as a ‘stepping-stone’ undoubtedly helps to keep players long-term. Spurs have given out bumper new contracts to their key players and are continuing to negotiate to get those remaining new deals. Rather than attracting world-class signings who see joining Spurs as a way to advertise themselves in the Premier League, they are able to sign players who want to make it to the highest level at the club.

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Tactics – Pochettino seems to have his tactics spot on.

From front to back the current Tottenham side is incredibly strong and they all appear to understand their role and what’s expected of them. This is an incredibly important feature to create a successful side. Failing to get tactics and player roles right leads to underperforming stars and a team lacking unity, something that can arguably be seen at Manchester City during their transitional period. Pochettino has built a team on the foundations of strength in every position. This makes them a powerful outfit and their run of results is proof continual progression.

Spurs are clearly a club on the rise. Their new stadium is well underway and it is an exciting time to be a part of the club for all involved. So long as they continue to improve, their chance of winning the title will increase. While it is difficult to predict whether they will win the title in the current campaign, given the performance levels of the teams around them, Pochettino has to get his players hungry for success. If Spurs can lift a trophy this season it will give the squad the taste of silverware and it could be the start of golden patch.

Do you think Tottenham can win the Premier League under Mauricio Pochettino?

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur

Competition: Premier League – Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Venue: Old Trafford – Sunday, December 11 – 14:15 GMT (09:15 ET)

Match Odds: Manchester United 6/5 – Draw 23/10 – Spurs 23/10

Match Preview

Manchester United welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Old Trafford on Sunday in the standout fixture of the Premier League action this weekend.

United know they’ve got a game on their hands with the visit of Spurs, this meeting usually offers an exciting tie, but given recent league form for United a draw would be far from surprising.

Jose Mourinho’s side are frustrating their fans. They’re creating well in games but are missing hatfuls of chances and aren’t strong enough defensively to hold out when they take the lead.

Despite the negatives, United are unbeaten in five in the league (W1, D4). Their draw last weekend at Everton was a disappointing result considering they looked to have the points wrapped up, but it’s another game unbeaten nonetheless.

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Tottenham will be full of confidence coming into this game. They thumped Swansea 5-0 at home last weekend and it could and probably should have been nearer double figures.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men are six points ahead of United in the league. They sit 5th, three points outside the top four and six points off top spot, they’re well in the mix.

Spurs need to win this game to keep pace with the top four. If results go in their favour they could end the weekend in third place.

The North London side have lost just once in their last 14 outings. They’re in fine form and are scoring freely, so they have to start with their usual high-press and intensity to put United on the back-foot from the word go.

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Team News

Manchester united are still expecting to be without Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw for this tie. Eric Bailly could be in line to start his first Premier League game in six weeks, he played 90 minutes in the Europa League in midweek. Wayne Rooney is available again after serving his one-match suspension.

Tottenham have just three injury concerns ahead of this tie. Erik Lamela and Vincent Janssen are both expected to remain out, while Ben Davies is a doubt. Toby Alderweireld could make his first Premier League start since October 15 after he featured in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Key Points

Manchester United’s last five: D/W/D/D/D

Tottenham’s last five: D/D/W/L/W

Key Stat: Manchester United have won just once in their last nine Premier League games.

Key Player: Harry Kane – The Spurs talisman is in fine form. He has netted seven league goals this season and will be excited at the prospect of getting at a nervy United defence. He will have to outshine Zlatan Ibrahimovic to ensure Spurs take all three points here.

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Score Prediction

Manchester United 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur – United to fall to another unfavourable result against one of the top sides in the league. Spurs know they have the chance of taking all three points at Old Trafford, but just because United are out of form by no means makes this an easy tie.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester City vs Chelsea

Competition: Premier League – Manchester City vs. Chelsea

Venue: Etihad Stadium – Saturday, December 3 – 12:30 GMT (07:30 ET)

Match Odds: Manchester City 11/10 – Draw 5/2 – Chelsea 12/5

Match Preview

Manchester City welcome Chelsea to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday lunchtime in a mouthwatering fixture in the race for the Premier League title.

Pep Guardiola’s side trail league leaders Chelsea by just one point ahead of this tie and just three points separate the top four. This is a crunch game for City, who need to make sure they win and put an end to Chelsea’s winning run.

City come into the game having come from behind to beat Burnley in a scrappy game that showed their resilience to win, something they’ll need to show once again here.

While many are saying it is too early for results to impact the race for the title, a loss for City here could be disastrous for the squad mentally. Guardiola has experience coaching against Chelsea and will know his side are up against a team that never know when they’re beat.

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Chelsea are the inform team in the Premier League. They have won seven in row, conceding just once and scoring 19.

Antonio Conte is pleased with his side, especially the spirit they showed to come from behind to beat Spurs last weekend. Many have questioned whether or not going behind would upset the balance for Chelsea in their unbeaten run, but they proved they are capable of turning a game in their favour.

Chelsea have struggled at the Etihad, they have won just once in their last eight visits in all competitions and, like practically every Premier League club, have constantly been on the receiving end of a Sergio Aguero masterclass.

This a game Chelsea have to avoid defeat in. It will put them in a really good position for their upcoming December fixtures, while no league game is easy, they have some favourable games over the Christmas period and could capitalise on that to give themselves some cushioning at the top.

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Team News

Vincent Kompany remains out for Manchester City, while there are concerns about Fabian Delph and Raheem Sterling, who are both doubts.

Chelsea are expected to remain unchanged for the eighth game in a row. John Terry will be out, while Kurt Zouma and Marco van Ginkel are not yet ready to be considered for selection. Diego Costa is one yellow card away from a one-game ban, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he picks that up here given the intensity of this tie.

Key Points

Manchester City’s form: D/W/D/W/W

Chelsea’s form: W/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: Chelsea have conceded just once in their seven-game winning streak.

Key Player: Thibaut Courtois – This is easily the biggest challenge of the season for the Chelsea backline. They have been performing very well but face a completely different opponent with the way City will press them on the ball. Courtois will have to be at his best to ensure his side can come away with a win.

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Score Prediction

Manchester City 2-0 Chelsea – Manchester City are going to give Chelsea a different style of game that no other side has done this season. Their pressing and ball retention will make this a difficult afternoon for Conte’s men. Historically, it is not a happy hunting ground for Chelsea and Aguero & co will make it another to forget for The Blues.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester United vs Leicester City

Competition: Premier League – Manchester United vs. Leicester City

Venue: Old Trafford – Sunday, May 1st – 14:05 GMT (09:05 ET)

Match Odds: Man United 1/1 – Draw 23/10 – Leicester 29/10

Match Preview

Manchester United welcome Leicester City to Old Trafford in what could be the day Claudio Ranieri’s side make history and win the Premier League.

United’s last Premier League game was their 2-0 win over Crystal Palace. There is still a chance for them to finish in the top four, they sit five points behind but they do have a game in hand. The Red Devils are reliant on other results going their way.

Louis Van Gaal’s side will be full of confidence having dramatically reached the FA Cup Final last weekend, giving them a great chance of silverware this season.

Manchester United have won their last six home matches against Leicester so the away side will have to break that trend if they are to be crowned champions this weekend.

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Leicester City extended their unbeaten run to seven games last weekend with their 4-0 demolition over Swansea.

Ranieri’s side are within touching distance of the Premier League title, but only all three points will secure the silverware this weekend.

Leicester have won six of their last seven league games and kept six clean sheets along the way. We can expect them to be as difficult as ever to break down here.

A win here would cap off what has been an amazing season for Leicester, they have been in good form away, winning three on the bounce.

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Team News

Manchester United could be without up to five through injury as Bastian Schweinsteiger, Adnan Januzaj, Luke Shaw and Will Keane are all ruled out, while Phil Jones is a doubt.

Leicester City are still expected to be without Matthew James through injury, while Jamie Vardy is serving the additional game of his suspension.

Key Points

Manchester United’s last five Premier League games: W/W/L/W/W

Leicester City’s last five Premier League games: W/W/W/D/W

Key Stat: Manchester United have won their last six home matches in the Premier League.

Key Player: Kasper Schmeichel – The Danish ‘keeper could follow in his fathers footsteps and win the Premier League title at Old Trafford. We can expect both ‘keepers to be busy but Schmeichel’s performances have been an integral part of Leicester’s chase for the title. He has kept seven clean sheets in his last ten league games.

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Score Prediction

Manchester United 0-0 Leicester City – The champagne will have to stay on ice for at least another week for Leicester City. This will be a very tight tie with neither side looking weak at the back. Manchester United will have to do something not many sides have successfully achieved over the course of the season and break Leicester down. With both goalkeepers in fantastic form they will be the stars of the show here.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Tottenham vs West Brom

Competition: Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur vs. West Bromwich Albion

Venue: White Hart Lane – Monday, April 25 – 20:00 BST (15:00 ET) 

Match Odds: Tottenham 2/9 – Draw 5/1 – West Brom 14/1

Match Preview

Tottenham host West Brom on Monday night as they look to keep their Premier League title charge alive with the end of the season drawing ever closer.

Spurs will be closely watching Leicester’s game with Swansea on Sunday and will be hoping the Foxes drop points as they did last weekend, with the Lilywhites ready to pounce on any mistakes when they play a day later.

Mauricio Pochettino’s team have impressed all year, but last week’s 4-0 demolition of Stoke at the Britannia was one of the best away performances any team has put in this season.

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Tottenham were unplayable and could have scored six or seven goals. If they play with the same intensity this week, West Brom will stand little chance in halting their progress.

The Baggies are stuck in limbo with four games to go. They have little to play for, with relegation seemingly impossible, and so it’s perhaps difficult for Tony Pulis to motivate his players.

West Brom sit ten points clear of safety with four to go. They have reached that magical ’40-point’ mark and are now seemingly waiting for the season to end.

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They come into this game in poor form, having lost three in a row, and are looking to end a five-game winless run at White Hart Lane on Monday.

The Baggies lost 2-0 away at Arsenal on Thursday night and the lack of recovery time ahead of this game will likely play into Tottenham’s hands.

The reverse fixture saw the sides draw 1-1 at the Hawthorns, with Dele Alli’s early strike cancelled out by James McClean before halftime. Tottenham have only won one of their last five clashes against the Baggies but will hope to cruise to three points on Monday.

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Team News

Mauricio Pochettino has just one injury concern as Nabil Bentaleb remains out. Clinton N’Jie is not yet fit enough to feature but will be pushing for a place on the substitutes bench. Pochettino is expected to name an unchanged team to the one that swept Stoke away last Monday.

West Brom have only had three days to prepare for this game following their Thursday night loss at Arsenal. Tony Pulis will not be able to call on Spurs loanee Alex Pritchard, while Chris Brunt and James Morrison remain injured.

Key Points

Tottenham’s last five: W/W/D/W/W

West Brom’s last five: L/D/L/L/L

Key Stat: West Brom have only lost one of their last five Premier League visits to White Hart Lane (W1 D3), with Tottenham’s last home win against the Baggies coming in 2012.

Key Player: Harry Kane – Tottenham’s star striker has proved his critics wrong by enjoying another fine season. He leads the scoring chart with 24 and is now just two strikes away from hitting 50 Premier League goals. After scoring eight in his last six league outings, Kane will expect to find the net against the Baggies here.

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Score Prediction

Tottenham 4-0 West Brom – Tottenham are playing some incredible football and don’t look to be running out of steam at a crucial part of the season. Regardless of the Leicester result on Sunday, Spurs will be out to seal three points and should prove far too strong for the Baggies. West Brom have only scored once in their last five outings and will struggle to penetrate a strong Tottenham defence here.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Leicester vs Swansea

Competition: Premier League – Leicester City vs. Swansea City

Venue: King Power Stadium – Sunday, April, 24 – 16:15 BST (11:15 ET)

Match Odds: Leicester City 8/11 – Draw 5/2 – Swansea City 4/1

Match Preview

Leicester City face Swansea City as they look to strengthen their grip the Premier League title on Sunday with the end of the season drawing ever closer.

Leicester are unbeaten in their last eight league matches, but did drop two points in their 2-2 draw with West Ham last week, as Tottenham closed the gap at the top to five points following their win at Stoke on Monday.

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Jamie Vardy was sent off against West Ham last weekend and his absence may cause problems for Claudio Ranieri’s men. The striker has been effective at turning defences and running in behind and the loss of energy up top could affect the Foxes a lot on Sunday as the England striker sits out of his first league game this season.

The Foxes have showed spirit and fight all year and will need to display their tenacity, along with quality, through the final four matches of the season to seal a miracle title.

Swansea have arguably nothing to play for, as their Premier League status seems all but secure with the Swans sitting ten points above the drop with four to play.

They may have only lost one of their last four, but this season is one to forget for Swansea. They are building for next year and should be playing for the fans so a win wouldn’t be beyond them on Sunday.

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They have the quality to cause Leicester problems and will be desperate to get one over on the Foxes following the 3-0 home defeat earlier in the season

The problem for Swansea is they haven’t won away at Leicester since 1950 and so history, as well as form, is heavily against them this weekend.

Team News

Leicester City have no injury worries for the clash but Jamie Vardy is suspended so Shinji Okazaki and Leonardo Ulloa are expected to play up front if Claudio Ranieri sticks to the usual 4-4-2 formation.

Swansea City have a full squad available and an unchanged side is expected to be named.

Key Points

Leicester City’s last five: W/W/W/W/D

Swansea City’s last five: L/W/D/W/L

Key Stat: Swansea City haven’t won any of their last eleven visits to Leicester.

Key Player: Riyad Mahrez – The Algerian winger will need to step up as Jamie Vardy is suspended and their counter-attacking style will be tested without Vardy running in behind. A lot lies on the PFA Player of the Year favourite, but Mahrez has shown this season that he has the skill to turn games in a flash.

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Score Prediction

Leicester City 2-1 Swansea City – This is a game Leicester will have to win if they are to win the title and we expect them to make it over the line. Swansea should give them a test, but will more than likely come up short against a spirited outfit looking to cope without Vardy.

Podcast: FC Dallas, Toronto FC & Premier League title race discussed

In this week’s MLSGB Podcast, Zack Walford sits down with Jamie Ives and Louis East to discuss FC Dallas’ early form which has seen them climb to the top of the Supporters’ Shield standings, before moving onto talk about Toronto FC’s start over in the Eastern Conference.

Then, the team look at the Premier League title race with just four weeks to go as Leicester and Tottenham battle it out for a historic first Premier League title.

Be sure to comment below with your thoughts, or get in touch on Twitter: @MLSGB_

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Aston Villa vs Tottenham Hotspur

Competition: Premier League – Aston Villa vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Venue: Villa Park – Sunday, March 13 – 16:00 GMT (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Aston Villa 13/2 – Draw 16/5 – Tottenham 4/9

Match Preview

Premier League strugglers Aston Villa welcome title chasing Tottenham Hotspur to Villa Park on Sunday afternoon in a game between two sides with very different aims.

Villa are on a four game losing streak coming into this one and have been leaking goals in recent games. They lost 4-0 to Manchester City last weekend despite being 0-0 at halftime and looked a depleted side.

Rémi Garde’s side sit bottom of the Premier League. They are nine points away from safety and although relegation is not yet confirmed they’re favourites for the drop.

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Tottenham come into this tie off the back of their 2-2 draw in the North London Derby last weekend – although it was a good point they will rue not taking all three from being in a winning position.

Spurs trail leaders Leicester City by five points but this title race is still wide open. As the season has proved any side is capable of taking points off of one-another so Mauricio Pochettino will be expecting nothing than maximum effort from his players here.

A top four finish is not yet guaranteed for Spurs despite how good of a season they have had. Even though they are pushing hard for their first title since the 1960/61 campaign they must still ensure they are keeping the distance between them and the sides below.

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Team News

Aston Villa have five injury concerns heading into this tie. Libor Kozak, Adama Traore, Jordan Amavi, Carlos Sanchez and Jack Grealish are all expected to be out.

Tottenham have just three injury concerns. Pochettino rested a number of his key players in their Europa League loss midweek but is still expecting to be without Clinton N’Jie and Jan Vertonghen, while Danny Rose is a doubt.

Key Points

Aston Villa’s last five: W/L/L/L/L

Tottenham’s last five: W/W/W/L/D

Key Stat: Aston Villa have conceded 15 goals in their last four games.

Key Player: Harry Kane – The Tottenham goal-machine has netted 17 in the Premier League this season including that stunning effort against Arsenal last weekend, as always we expect him to be key and full of confidence.

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Score Prediction

Aston Villa 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur – Spurs should’t have too much trouble taking all three points here, as last weekend proved it’s a case of getting the first goal against Aston Villa. Hugo Lloris will be desperate to keep a clean sheet and Pochettino’s side have to keep applying the pressure to Leicester so if there is a slip up from the leaders they can capitalise and gain ground.

Sounders star praises Leicester but wants Spurs to win Premier League

Seattle Sounders front man Clint Dempsey has praised Leicester City and his former club Tottenham Hotspur for their efforts in the Premier League this season.

The USA international, who used to ply his trade in England, having spent six years in London with Fulham and Spurs, can’t speak highly enough of what the top two sides are achieving.

“Leicester has done incredible and Tottenham has just been consistent throughout the whole season,” he told Goal USA.

“It’s about these next few months and seeing who wants it more. I’ve never seen anything like Leicester’s incredible run. It’s been pretty amazing.”

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Dempsey began his professional career with New England Revolution in 2004 and left for Fulham in 2007, where he spent five years before joining Tottenham in 2012.

He arrived in Seattle in 2013 and has enjoyed his return to MLS, helping the Sounders to a Supporters’ Shield title and US Open Cup in 2014.

A look at his career in numbers below shows he’s been a success wherever he goes:

Clint Dempsey's club career in numbers

Clint Dempsey’s club career in numbers

The 32 year old puts Leicester’s success down to hard work, but has admitted he’d prefer to see his old club Spurs go on to lift the title in May.

“It just goes to show you that anything can happen in the league if you prepare and are organised and have belief, you can do the impossible.

“It would be crazy to see them win, but since I played with Tottenham I’m going to have to root for them and hope they can pull it off.”

WATCH: Clint Dempsey scores an excellent free kick vs Club America

Dempsey scored both goals for Seattle, including a wonderful free-kick, as they got their competitive season underway on Tuesday with a 2-2 draw against Club America in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal first leg at CenturyLink Field.

The return leg is on Wednesday, March 2 before their MLS campaign kicks off on Sunday, March 6 at home to Sporting Kansas City.

How good is Clint Dempsey? And who do you want to win the Premier League?

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Leicester

Competition: Premier League – Arsenal vs. Leicester City

Venue: Emirates Stadium – Sunday, February 14 – 12:00 GMT (07:00 ET)

Match Odds: Arsenal 4/6 – Draw 3/1 – Leicester 19/5

Match Preview

Arsenal host Leicester in a huge Premier League clash on Sunday afternoon, with the outcome of this match certain to have an impact on the title race.

The Gunners come into the weekend in third place, five points behind league leaders Leicester, and know this is probably their biggest game of the season so far.

The pressure is on Arsene Wenger’s side to deliver on home soil. A win wouldn’t put them top, but would close the gap on Leicester to two points and would give them a huge psychological boost.

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Beating The Foxes will be no easy task though. Leicester have only lost twice this season – the fewest defeats in the league – and are currently unbeaten in seven games.

Claudio Ranieri’s men continued to shock everyone with their 3-1 demolition of Manchester City last weekend and are now title favourites for the first time this season.

They did lose to Arsenal earlier in the season and it will be important for Leicester to try and put that 5-2 defeat to the back of the minds as they will need to focus on the job at hand.

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Recent history is on Arsenal’s side as they are currently unbeaten in nine Premier League games against The Foxes. The Gunners are expected to win this game but if anyone can continue to stun the footballing world, it’s Leicester.

Team News

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will be relieved to see fewer names on his injury list than he has for a while. The Gunners are still without four players as Santi Cazorla, Danny Welbeck, Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere remain out, but the good news is Alexis Sanchez is back to full fitness, while Francis Coquelin should also be back in good shape too.

Claudio Ranieri isn’t expected to make any changes to the team that beat City last weekend. Jeffrey Schlupp, Matty James and Daniel Amartey are the only three names Leicester have to worry about as far as injuries go.

Key Points

Arsenal’s last five: D/D/L/D/W

Leicester’s last five: W/D/W/W/W

Key Stat: Arsenal have not lost a league game at home to Leicester since September 1973.

Key Player: Jamie Vardy – There isn’t much more to be said about Jamie Vardy in what has been a sensational season for the English forward. But his pace will be key for Leicester on Sunday as they will look to hit Arsenal on the counter-attack as much as possible.

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Score Prediction

Arsenal 2-2 Leicester – Arsenal will see this as a must-win game as far as their title hopes are concerned but it’s impossible to go against Leicester, especially as they destroyed Manchester City in an equally important match last weekend. The Foxes have proven to be a match for anyone and will setup to hit Arsenal on the break – something they should be able to do well. This looks to have goals in it but we can’t separate the two.