Mauricio's five-point preview - Leicester
Fri 20 September 2019, 12:05|Tottenham Hotspur
Mauricio Pochettino’s five-point preview looks at Saturday’s opponents Leicester City and the impact on the squad of a midweek Champions League trip to Greece.
We take on the Foxes at the King Power Stadium in the Premier League at 12.30pm.
1 - Olympiacos
We drew 2-2 in our Champions League group opener in Athens on Wednesday night...
Mauricio: “I think watching the game again, it was difficult, a tough atmosphere. It’s true we’re disappointed because at 2-0 up, we conceded two goals and the feeling then is always not the best. But we need to be happy with one point. It’s in our hands to start winning games. The Champions League is always tough. Overall, the second half, apart from the penalty, the team’s reaction was very good.”
2 - Preparation
The team landed in the early hours of Thursday morning and have to prepare for the early kick-off at Leicester – what would Mauricio do between returning to London and kicking-off at the KP Stadium?
Mauricio: “We need to recover and take the best decisions. There will be no excuses. That is why we have a big squad - players who feel fresh, some will repeat, some will struggle to recover and they will rest. What’s important is that this is not an excuse. We are going to arrive in good condition on Saturday and we’ll be ready to fight against Leicester.”
Any time for tactical work? Mauricio: “It’s about sleep and recovery. We will train on Friday. The most important thing is to recover well, sleep, good nutrition and be ready again with energy to fight against a very good team like Leicester.”
3- Rotation and full-backs
Mauricio rotated our full-backs at Olympiacos with Davinson Sanchez and Ben Davies replacing Serge Aurier and Danny Rose, who started against Palace on Saturday. Did he switch the full-backs because it’s one of the most physically demanding positions?
Mauricio: “It depends on the characteristics of the player. Some players need to rest, others not. It’s not because of the specific position. It depends on our assessment and how the players need to deal with the effort, not because of the position.”
4 – Leicester City
What does Mauricio expect from Brendan Rodgers’ team on Saturday?
Mauricio: “They are a very good team. After winning the Premier League, they have rebuilt the team. Today’s it’s a different squad, new mentality, new manager and a great manager like Brendan. That is why it’s going to be tough.”
5 – A key game?
Leicester are being touted as top six candidates – perhaps even top four. Does that make this game even more important, even at this early stage of the season?
Mauricio: “At the moment it’s so early to talk about which teams are going to be there. But of course, the Leicester squad is so good with a great manager, for sure they will be in a good position at the end of the season. But at the moment it’s so early to talk about being a contender for top four or top six.”