Tottenham v Leicester
Live on BBC1
Tottenham's impressive Premier League season continued at Goodison Park last weekend though the Londoners were unable to make it 12 points from four festive top-flight fixtures, eventually making do with a 1-1 draw. That is not an uncommon result for Spurs but they are spectacularly hard to beat - over the course of the season Mauricio Pochettino's side have won 13, drawn 10 and lost just four matches in all competitions.
Two of those defeats came in cup competitions, however - Arsenal beating Tottenham at White Hart Lane in the league cup and Anderlecht inflicting a 2-1 defeat on Spurs in the Europa League. Though they reached the Capital One Cup final last year, it seems that Pochettino places less importance on the knockout competitions. Tottenham fielded a weakened side in both those cup defeats this year - for instance those two matches are part of the three that Andros Townsend has started this season.
While Spurs' position as favourites to win this match is justified the manager's team selection will be crucial to their chances of progressing into the fourth round. Mousa Dembele is the only injured first teamer.
Like Spurs the Foxes have been enjoying an exceptional year, winning 12, drawing nine and losing just two of their fixtures across the league and Capital One Cup this year.
The Christmas results were not wholly positive, however, with a win at Everton followed by defeat at Liverpool and consecutive 0-0 draws against Manchester City and Bournemouth. Though the opposition was arguably tougher than average the suspicion is that Leicester's momentum has been checked after the electric first half of the year. That may or may not be true - and Riyad Mahrez's missed penalty against Bournemouth was probably his first real mistake of the season - but we'll only really find out over the next few games. However, it needs to be said that there is no shame in a sequence that includes drawing against the Premier League title favourites and winning at Goodison.
One big absentee from this game will be striker Jamie Vardy who is having minor groin surgery.
The market thinks Leicester are about to suffer their third defeat of the season, making Spurs 1.75/7 favourites to progress after 90 minutes of action. On the basis of results this season you have to make Leicester a huge price at 5.59/2. The draw can be backed at 4.1.
It's impossible to make a confident pick in this market without some solid team news. It seems likely that both managers will rest key players, but how many?
Tottenham have the greater depth but it's a tight price against a team that has been exceptional this season.
Under 2.5 Goals
We know that Vardy will be missing, and having seen Harry Kane stagger around like a punch-drunk boxer at the end of the Everton game I imagine he too may be rested by Pochettino. The pair have scored a combined 30 goals this year and so we will likely be missing a large portion of each side's goal threat. Pochettino will play a relatively strong defence - he does not trust Federico Fazio, who may be on his way soon anyway, so one of Toby Alderweireld or Jan Vertonghen will probably start.
The Belgian pair have kept seven clean sheets in the Premier League this year and all in all Unders looks worth a bet at a shade of odds-against.
Back Under 2.5 Goals @ 21/20
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