Leicester City v Tottenham: Kane can trouble weakened Foxes

Leicester and Tottenham are both pushing for European qualification, and Kevin Hatchard believes we'll see an exciting game at the King Power.

Foxes trying to rebuild their campaign

Having lost out in the race for the top four in back-to-back seasons as front-runners who fell at the final hurdle, Leicester are trying it the other way round this time, but they might have left themselves too much to do. The Foxes are 12 points off fourth spot, although they do have plenty of games in hand.

The determined nature of Leicester's recent home win against Liverpool showed what Brendan Rodgers' side is capable of, although the truth is that Liverpool missed glaring opportunities with the score at 0-0.

Defending has been a big issue for Leicester all season, with 33 goals leaked in 18 league games and just three clean sheets collected.

Defensive lapses cost them dearly in the Europa League, as they failed to reach the knockout phase. Leicester's European adventure continues in the Europa Conference League next month.

Leicester have won their last five games in all competitions at the King Power, including the last three in the Premier League. Overall though, they have won just five of their nine home matches in the top division.

As has been the case for much of the campaign, Leicester will be short of players. Jamie Vardy, Jonny Evans and Wesley Fofana are all out, while they'll be late tests for Timothy Castagne and Boubakary Soumare. Daniel Amartey, Wilfried Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho are all at the African Cup of Nations.

Stage is set for Conte to shine

Tottenham are better rested for this game than they would like to have been, after the North London derby was postponed against their wishes. Sunday would have been an opportunity to maintain what has been a strong start to life under new coach Antonio Conte, but Tottenham are still in a fantastic position in the race for fourth spot, as they are four points behind fourth-placed West Ham with four games in hand. At time of writing, Tottenham are 3.35 in the Top 4 Finish market.

Spurs have won five and drawn three of their eight Premier League games under Conte, and their only failures have been in cup competitions. They were rather limp over two legs of their Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea, and the Conference League campaign ended in frustration, as their final group-stage game against Rennes was indefinitely postponed.

This is not yet Conte's team, but it now appears there is more of an identity than there ever was under Nuno Espirito Santo, and a hitherto underachieving group knows that it can't get away with coasting under one of European football's most demanding coaches. Fans are doubtless nervous about whether Conte's vision for the future will align with that of controversial and sometimes parsimonious chairman Daniel Levy, but if they can work together, the vast potential of the club could be unlocked.

Defender Cristian Romero is still likely to be out with a hamstring injury despite his recent return to training, while Heung-Min Son has been sidelined by a muscle problem. Eric Dier, Sergio Reguilon and Steven Bergwijn all face late fitness tests.

Hard to back either team with confidence

Leicester are in great form at home, but are severely depleted by injuries and other absences. This at least partially explains why they are the outsiders in the Match Odds market at 3.15. That said, Tottenham have only won one of their five competitive away matches under Conte, and that was at hapless Watford.

What you could do is keep the Tottenham win and draw in your portfolio, and add an Over 1.5 Goals bet and back Harry Kane to have a shot on target. That combination gets you to 1.91 on the Sportsbook's Bet Builder. Kane has had at least one shot on target in 13 of his last 14 matches for club and country, while an Over 1.5 Goals bet has landed in 18 of Leicester's last 19 games.

However, I'll take a slightly different tack for my headline bet. I'll keep the Over 1.5 Goals (that wager has also paid out in 11 of Conte's 14 games at the Tottenham helm), but take the Tottenham result out and instead back Kane to have at least two shots on target. Kane has had multiple shots on target in three of his last five Premier League outings, and Leicester have allowed 4.78 shots on target per 90 in the Premier League this season. If we combine Kane to have two shots on target with the Over 1.5 Goals bet, we get a price of 2.14 on the Bet Builder.

If you want to keep things really simple and simply look at the To Score market, then Kane is priced at 10/11 to find the net (he has scored in four of his last eight competitive games).

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