The Chalkboard: Tottenham must select a back-three against Leicester

Fixture In Focus banner Richard Lee

Tottenham welcome Leicester City to Wembley on Sunday afternoon, and they must learn from the mistakes of title rivals Manchester City and Liverpool.

On the chalkboard

Tottenham once again have the chance to keep pace with the title favourites on Sunday, but the visit of Leicester will be far from a walk in the park.

Claude Puel is under considerable pressure as the Foxes toil in 11th, far too low for a squad with such quality, but they have made life difficult for the big boys this season.

Manchester United had to work hard to squeeze out a 1-0 win at the King Power Stadium recently while Manchester City and Liverpool combined for just one point in their recent clashes with the 2015-16 champions.

So what can Tottenham do to avoid another Foxes upset?

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Learning from title rivals

Tottenham should have no difficulty creating chances and troubling the Leicester defence, as the Foxes have not kept a clean sheet since New Year’s Day in a 1-0 win at Everton.

However, the Lilywhites must change things up at the back and start with a back three to avoid repeating the mistakes of both Manchester City and Liverpool, who were repeatedly exposed by wingers like Demarai Gray and overlapping full-backs Ben Chilwell and Ricardo Pereira.

Against Manchester City, Pereira and Marc Albrighton made Fabian Delph’s life miserable. Chilwell, together with James Maddison, did the exact same thing to makeshift Liverpool right-back Jordan Henderson in their 1-1 draw.

If Tottenham play a back four, both of Kieran Trippier and Serge Aurier, the two senior options at right-back, would leave gaps for Chilwell and whoever starts on the left-wing to expose. If Puel picks Gray in that spot, his pace will be a huge problem in the gaps left by Trippier or Aurier.

Tottenham simply must start a back three of Jan Vertonghen, Davinson Sanchez and Toby Alderweireld, which will limit the impact of any mishaps from the wing-backs or midfield.