Leicester City welcome Tottenham Hotspur to King Power Stadium in the Premier League tonight.
We may be 19 days in to 2022, but remarkably this is Leicester’s first Premier League fixture of the new year, having had a number of games called off due to coronavirus cases in the camp.
Their last top-flight outing came all the way back on December 28th with an unexpected yet deserved 1-0 win at home to Liverpool.
The Foxes did play in the FA Cup 11 days ago against Watford, recording a convincing 4-1 win and booking their place in round 4 of the competition.
When it comes to their league campaign, though, there is some catching up to do in terms of fixtures, with their 18 games played this term the fewest of any side in the division barring bottom club Burnley.
Their opponents on Wednesday, Tottenham, also have only played 18 Premier League games and were left rather frustrated when their last game was postponed.
Spurs were due to take on North London rivals Arsenal on Sunday, but the Premier League controversially agreed to call the game off following a request to do so from the Gunners.
Antonio Conte was said to be furious at the decision with the club also releasing a statement expressing their disapproval of the cancellation.
Spurs have an opportunity to breach the division’s top four if they can win their games in hand, and victory over Arsenal will have damaged a direct rival in that pursuit – Leicester too could be unlikely gatecrashers of the Champions League spots should they find some form and win their rescheduled matches.
The Foxes reside 10th in the standings with 2 wins from their last 5, whilst Tottenham are 4 points off West Ham in 4th and haven’t lost in the top flight since late October.
Missing personnel has been a factor for Leicester City this season and that remains the case here, with Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho both away on international duty with Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Daniel Amartey was part of the Ghana squad at the tournament in Cameroon, but the Black Stars have been surprisingly knocked out in the early going. Despite this, it’s unlikely he will be involved.
Midfielder Papy Mendy is also at Afcon with Senegal, whilst Ryan Bertrand, Jamie Vardy, Ricardo, Wesley Fofana, Jonny Evans and Timothy Castagne complete the lengthy injury list.
One boost for Brendan Rodgers is the return to contention of James Justin, who hasn’t featured in a Leicester matchday squad for 11 months due to a serious knee injury.
For Tottenham, Antonio Conte has far fewer fitness concerns, although the lively Son Heung-Min is unavailable due to a muscle problem.
Eric Dier and Christian Romero are also out, with Sergio Reguilon doubtful to feature also – he’ll be put through a late fitness test.
Leicester v Tottenham kicks off at 7.30pm on Wednesday 19th January.