Tottenham vs. Leicester City: Women's Super League Preview

Tottenham and Leicester City prepare for a crucial Women's Super League encounter, serving as a prelude to the FA Cup semi-final. SportsBoom.com dives into the dynamics of both teams and what to expect from this eagerly anticipated match.

Lillywhites forming a huddle
Maryam Naz

Written by: Maryam Naz

(Sports Writer)

Reviewed by: Louis Hobbs

(Senior Sports Writer)

Last updated: 2024-03-15

6 minutes read

English football clubs Tottenham Leicester City face each other this weekend in what would’ve been a fairly mundane, middle-of-the-table Women’s Super League clash, but it is now a dress rehearsal for next month’s FA Cup semi-final.

Changing Leadership

Having changed managers nine games into the season, it’s clear that Spurs have found a way to purr under new tutelage. Last December’s historic North London Derby win at the Emirates proved as much. The men’s team are undergoing a similar metamorphosis under Ange Postecoglou. The Australian gaffer joined the club last summer after Antonio Conte’s departure, impressing many with his adventurous style of play while managing Celtic in the Scottish Premiership. 

He aimed to implement a similar regime to kick-start his Spurs reign, and the results were forthcoming. Six wins and two draws in his opening eight games, combined with Tottenham’s lucrative summer transfer dealings, put him in good stead. 

Since then, despite injury drawbacks, international tournament absentees, and more losses, he’s managed to sustain his brand of courageous, high-tempo football. While the outcome may not always be in his team’s favour, the performances can no longer be accused of being stale or lacking entertainment.

The term ‘One Club Mentality’ - a phrase that highlights shared thinking, tactics, team talks, sit-downs, and much more - has been bandied around quite a bit, and for good cause, as it seems like the women’s team are taking an almost identical line of action.
Vilahamn referred to that approach when discussing the shift in focus to the team’s attacking form. “We’re taking steps to improve, especially with our attacking play,” said the Swedish head coach.
 

Caption: Image Credits: BBC Sports

Caption: Image Credits: BBC Sports

Key Players to Watch

The “Vilahamn effect” has not been lost on the players either. England debutant Grace Clinton and former Manchester United striker Martha Thomas quickly returned the praise during Media Day at the training ground this week.“When Robert came in, I felt everyone bought into him and what he had to say,” Clinton explained.

“If that weren’t the case, we wouldn’t be doing as well as we have done this year. All the girls trust and believe in him. Because of that, it’s allowed everyone to come as far as they have”.

Thomas added: “The club’s transformation has been amazing. I’m a confidence-based player; I think there’s not enough attention put on that sometimes. The talent doesn’t disappear; it doesn’t just go away overnight, and you don’t lose it—most of its mentality. I’m feeling good, enjoying my football, and most importantly, excited to play under Rob at Spurs”.

Facing the Foxes: Spurs' Tactical Approach

They’ll have the chance to showcase that same mentality and approach in five days when they face Willie Kirk’s emboldened Foxes.
His team will be keen to subdue Spurs fans ahead of next April’s main event, with just three points separating the two clubs in the league, respectively sitting sixth and seventh in the table.

They’ll have to devise a master plan to keep their opponents away from the box, especially Thomas, who has scored or assisted in four of her five appearances against the visitors.

Her partner-in-crime, Bethany England, who has recently made a full return from minor hip surgery, can be just as volatile in offence.
“I have a wealth of experience on the pitch, but also off it,” the 29-year-old said in a conversation with Sportsboom.com. 

“It was difficult at the start, being injured, but I had a lot of help around me to do what I could to help the team, and I can’t wait to get going again.”

Should either of them uncharacteristically fail to hit the mark, others, including Clinton, Jessica Naz, and Celine Bizet, have the means to contribute to the attack. 

Kirk’s cohort can only hope they’ll have the tools to respond and rebuke Spurs’ firepower. Jutta Rantala could be the one to thwart the North Londoners - she’s been directly involved in nine goals this season, which also happens to be the most ever in a single season scored by a Foxes player (four assists, five goals).

Janice Cayman and Lena Petermann are two others to keep an eye out for. Both have amassed four goals for Leicester this season and will be ready to pounce should their hosts offer them any slip-ups.

Spurs’ Path to Success

One thing’s for sure, it won’t be anything like last November’s tepid 1-1 draw at the King Power Stadium. And if all goes well, neither will next month’s semi-final match-up.

Spurs may find themselves on a path to a day out at Wembley and, more consequentially, their hands on a first piece of silverware. 
If that is the case, under Vilahamn's supervision, they might just be laying out a blueprint for other up-and-coming teams in the league on how to break into the esteemed top six. 

Get ready to immerse yourself in the excitement of women's football with SportsBoom! Follow every twist and turn of Tottenham's journey and join us in rallying behind them as they aim for victory in the upcoming FA Cup semi-final.

Maryam Naz

Maryam Naz

Maryam is a freelance women's football writer who has been working in the sports industry since she was 19. She began her career moonlighting with The Independent and The Mirror, before finding her calling within the world of all things women's football.

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