Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri turned up the heat on rivals Tottenham yesterday by insisting that they are favourites to secure the Premier League title.
Second-placed Spurs are currently two points behind leaders Leicester, while the Foxes have a chance to temporarily move five clear with victory over West Brom at the King Power Stadium tonight.
Tottenham face high-flying West Ham at Upton Park tomorrow evening, while Arsenal, whose own title challenge stuttered with a 3-2 defeat at injury-plagued Manchester United on Sunday, host Swansea and League Cup winners Manchester City visit Liverpool.
“Everyone is speaking about Leicester but nobody about Tottenham,” said Ranieri. “Tottenham, in my opinion, are favourites. When they defend and when they attack, they know what they want. They are the favourites, then Arsenal, then City.”
Leicester’s title charge suffered a blow yesterday after Ranieri confirmed that he will be without midfielder N’Golo Kante for two matches due to a hamstring injury.
Frenchman Kante has been an influential presence for the Foxes this season, featuring in every league match and making more tackles and interceptions than any other player in the division.
“We lose him for the next two matches,” added Ranieri. “It’s a little painful, he suffered during all of the season and now we want to give him some rest. Two matches and he can restart.”