Antonio Conte has vowed that Tottenham “will fight until the end” in their bid to finish fourth in the Premier League as they prepare for Sunday’s visit of Leicester City.
Spurs have relinquished control of fourth place to fierce rivals Arsenal after losing to Brighton and Hove Albion and drawing against Brentford in their past two matches.
The north London foes still have to face off in the remaining three weeks of the season, however, and Conte is determined to go all out to qualify for the Champions League.
“In this moment our fans, me, the players, the club, we need to be focused, we need to be concentrated on an important target for us,” he said.
“We have a big opportunity to try to get a place in the Champions League. We are doing something special for the situation we faced this season.
“We’re living this dream. We have to continue until the end to get a place in the Champions League. We are fighting for a target that wasn’t in our mind at the start of the season.
“Our fans have to stay with us at every moment. Positive and negative moments. We deserve to fight until the end and have a big push from our fans.”
Tottenham have had a week to stew on their stalemate with Brentford, whereas opponents Leicester were in action on Thursday against Roma in the Europa Conference League.
The first leg of that semi-final tie finished 1-1, meaning City have now drawn three in a row in all competitions and are four games without a victory.
Leicester travel to Rome next Thursday for the second leg, but manager Brendan Rodgers is not looking past the Tottenham match.
“After the first leg, you watch the game and then you draw a line. Then it’s just a straight line connecting to Tottenham. That’s it,” he said.
“I respect every game we play. We’ll fight for the points. We’ll have a lot of supporters traveling down so we have a duty to them to give everything we can and that’s our focus.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Tottenham – Harry Kane
Kane has scored 18 goals in 17 appearances against Leicester in all competitions, which is more than he has netted against any other opponent in his career. Sixteen of those goals have come in the Premier League, with only Alan Shearer scoring more against a single opponent in the competition (20 versus Leeds United).
Leicester – Jamie Vardy
City’s injury problems have eased considerably of late, with Vardy making just a second start of 2022 in all competitions in the midweek draw against Roma. The 35-year-old has only scored one goal in five games since Christmas and could do with a run of starts to build up his fitness.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Tottenham have won seven of their last 10 Premier League games against Leicester (L3), as many as they had in their previous 21 against them in the competition (D5 L9).
– Leicester won this exact fixture 2-0 last season, last winning consecutive away league games against Spurs in October 1999.
– Since their return to the Premier League in 2014, Leicester have conceded more league goals against Tottenham than they have versus any other side (36). Tottenham’s 36 goals against Leicester is also the most they have scored against an opponent in that time.
– This is Tottenham manager Antonio Conte’s 100th Premier League game in charge. He is the fourth manager to reach the milestone this season, with each of the previous three managers losing (Ralph Hasenhuttl, Graham Potter and Dean Smith). However, each of the previous three Italian managers to take charge of as many have all won their 100th game (Claudio Ranieri, Roberto Mancini and Carlo Ancelotti).
– Leicester have dropped 19 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season, only losing more in 1999-00 (21), 2003-04 (28) and 2017-18 (20).