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Spurs can crank up pressure as Foxes eye second

Wolves v Leicester City, Live BT Sport 1 (KO 8.0)


Jamie Vardy

Jamie Vardy

Jamie Vardy

Tottenham Hotspur have the opportunity to crank up the pressure on Chelsea in the battle for fourth place in the Premier League this weekend as they emerge from their mini mid-season break.

Jose Mourinho's side travel to relegation battlers Aston Villa on Sunday on the back of consecutive league wins, knowing another one will move them one point behind their stuttering London rivals who host Manchester United on Monday.

Another slimline Premier League programme also has Arsenal hosting Newcastle United on Sunday, with the London club hoping to snap a run of four successive draws that have left them meandering in mid-table.

Liverpool's procession towards a first title for 30 years looks likely to continue at bottom club Norwich City tomorrow, when the only other game is Southampton's home clash against Burnley.

A victory for either side at St Mary's will go a long way to banishing any lingering relegation worries.

With Manchester City enjoying a week off, Leicester City can move second if they win at Wolverhampton Wanderers tonight and Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has backed Jamie Vardy to return to his best.

The Premier League's top scorer has notched just one goal in his last 10 games having previously netted 16 times in 17 outings.

Vardy has recovered from a hamstring injury after the Foxes' winter break with Rodgers convinced he will fire again.

"These things happen and he's been working his way back in," he said.

When Mourinho arrived at Tottenham in November in the wake of Mauricio Pochettino's surprise sacking, the north London club were in 14th place after 12 games, 12 points behind Chelsea.

Seven wins and four defeats in their 13 league games since the celebrated Portuguese arrived is hardly a spectacular turnaround but with Chelsea stalling and other teams falling away it has been enough to push Tottenham back in the race to secure Champions League football with a top-four finish.

While another win on Sunday will move them within touching distance of Chelsea into fifth place, Mourinho knows the battle for fourth spot is not just with his old club, with several other sides vying for the spot, none more so than Sheffield United who moved fifth by beating Bournemouth last week.

"Wolves and Sheffield United are fighting for the top four, (the managers) they can say no, and I understand if they say no but the reality is that they are," Mourinho said.