Erik Lamela

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WATCH LIVE: Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur

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Manchester City aims to extend its record Premier League win streak to 16 matches when it hosts Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

There will be no David Silva for Man City, with Pep Guardiola inserting Ilkay Gundogan into the starting lineup. Eliaquim Mangala will start next to Nicolas Otamendi at center back.

Spurs have Erik Lamela, Fernando Llorente, and Serge Aurier on the bench.

LINEUPS

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Otamendi, Mangala, Delph, Fernandinho (c), Gundogan, De Bruyne, Sane, Sterling, Aguero. Subs: Bravo, Yaya Toure, Foden, Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo, Zinchenko, Danilo.

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (C), Trippier, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose, Dembele, Winks, Eriksen, Dele, Son, Kane. Subs: Vorm, Aurier, Davies, Foyth, Sissoko, Lamela, Llorente.

Lamela discusses “worst time of my life,” fear of never playing again

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It took so long that Erik Lamela began to doubt whether or not he’d ever play again after being out of action for 13 months due to a hip injury which required two surgeries in a six-week period to correct.

[ MORE: Arsenal’s Cazorla endures 9th achilles surgery in 13 months ]

In the end, Lamela made it back from what he calls “the worst time of [his] life” and made his return to action in Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-1 defeat to Leicester City on Tuesday — quotes from the Guardian:

“It was crazy. It was probably the worst time of my life. I really wanted to play but it took too long, my injury.

“In really bad times you always think the worst. But my family was always with me and the supporters wanted me on the pitch, they bring me energy to work every day and to never give up. I’m here today because I really wanted it, and when you really want something you can do it. The manager and all the staff honestly were amazing. They were always with me, behind me. All of us wanted the same thing — me playing. Sometimes you have to respect the times and today I feel better.”

Exactly 400 days elapsed between Lamela’s last appearance for Tottenham — Oct. 25, 2016 — and Tuesday’s return. The 25-year-old Argentine made an instant impact for Spurs, as he replaced Christian Eriksen in the 77th minute and slotted the inch-perfect through ball to Harry Kane to make the score 2-1 in the 79th.

“Of course, I can get much better, I am still not 100 percent, but I am good enough to play and I’m happy to be back.”

Lamela’s time away wasn’t all bad, though. He became a father for the first time on Saturday.

Leicester 2-1 Tottenham: Foxes stun Spurs

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  • Kane has 41 goals in 40 games in 2017
  • Vardy, Mahrez score stunning goals
  • Eriksen, Llorente miss sitters
  • Spurs with one win in last five PL games

Leicester City beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday to all but end Spurs’ faint hopes of wining the Premier League title.

Two stunning first half goals set Leicester on their way with Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez putting the Foxes 2-0 up at half time. Harry Kane (who else?) pulled one back with just over 10 minutes to go to set up a tense finish but both Christian Eriksen and Fernando Llorente missed glorious chances as Spurs slipped up once again.

With the win Claude Puel‘s Leicester rose to ninth place and have 17 points, while Spurs are in fifth on 24 points and are now 13 points off leaders Manchester City who also have a game in hand.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Leicester started well and Danny Rose cleared Wes Morgan‘s header off the line, while at the other end Spurs went close with Rose causing plenty of problems down the left.

Vardy then lobbed Leicester into the lead with a fantastic finish as Marc Albrighton‘s cross found him on the edge of the box and he lifted the ball over Lloris and into the net. 1-0.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Spurs responded well to going behind as Moussa Sissoko raced free but Kasper Schmeichel smothered his effort and the ball looped towards the goal but Vicente Iborra cleared off the line.

Kane then cut inside and curled a shot just over the bar as Spurs continued to search for an equalizer and he went even closer soon after. Dele Alli had a shot saved by Schmeichel and he then had a follow-up which Kane, in an offside position, left as the ball squirmed agonizingly wide.

Right on half time Leicester doubled their lead with a simply stunning goal. Mahrez cut in from the right flank, jinxed past three Tottenham players and curled an unstoppable effort into the far top corner to make it 2-0.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ] 

Spurs failed to generate many clear-cut chances at the start of the second half with Davinson Sanchez’s header almost turned in by Alli as Leicester started to sit back deeper.

Leicester were dangerous on the break as Vardy raced clear but Jan Vertonghen did well to recover and clear the danger with a last-ditch tackle.

Christian Eriksen missed a glorious chance at the other end as from five yards out the ball came to unexpectedly and he skewed his effort wide when he was off balance.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Kane did pull one back from with an emphatic finish as he drilled home at the near post as substitute Erik Lamela made the goal on his return to action after 13 months out with a head injury. 2-1.

Substitute Fernando Llorente then got it all wrong with Serge Aurier whipping in a great cross but the Spaniard prodded over from close range with the goal gaping.

Schmeichel made a brave stop late on to deny Kane an equalizer as the Englishman came flying in to try and get on the end of an Aurier cross.

Rose went down in the box late on claiming a penalty kick after he looked to be caught by Wilfried Ndidi but nothing was given and Leicester held on for a huge win.

Premier League Tuesday: Rivalry renewed (video)

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Midweek fixtures in the Premier League break up the work week, even as they cause headaches for managers and players alike.

[ MORE: What’s next for Matt Miazga? ]

Tuesday dishes up four appetizers for Wednesday’s sextet of fixtures, beginning with a tasty derby down South.

Brighton and Hove Albion vs. Crystal Palace — 2:45 p.m. ET

A heated rivalry which has been very even throughout history, the Gulls have a two-win edge on the Eagles over 104 matches. They last met in the 2013 Championship playoff, with Palace winning 2-0 over two legs; The stakes a just a tad lower this go-round given the time of year, but Palace is improving — 2-2-2 in its last six after a historically bad start — and would love to use a derby win to escape the drop zone for the first time this season.

Leicester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur — 2:45 p.m. ET

Mauricio Pochettino isn’t playing down Spurs’ four-match slump in form, saying the club’s title hopes would sink into desperation with another loss. Leicester is up to 12th, and will certainly recall the 6-1 spanking Spurs laid on them to end 2016-17. Erik Lamela is available for Spurs for the first time in a year.

Watford vs. Manchester United — 3 p.m. ET

United dodged a bullet when it learned Romelu Lukaku would not face a ban for a pair of kicks aimed at Brighton back Gaetan Bong. Now they’ll face a Watford side which looked quite dangerous in clobbering Newcastle away.

West Bromwich Albion vs. Newcastle United — 3 p.m. ET

It’s a relegation six-pointer at the Hawthorns, with West Brom hoping to stay unbeaten since the sacking of Tony Pulis. The Baggies’ draw at Tottenham will give them more confidence than the visitors, who have lost four straight including the aforementioned blowout against Watford. Newcastle knows it’s under-manned, but is targeting six points from its next six to keep a safety pace.

Pochettino: Win at Leicester necessary; Lamela available

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Tottenham has one win from its last four matches, and Mauricio Pochettino needs to steady the Spurs ship in a hurry.

The London side is coming off a surprising home draw against West Brom, one week after losing the North London Derby. Throw in a narrow win over Crystal Palace that followed a defeat at Old Trafford, and it’s fair to call this a slump.

Good news: A big name is back.

[ MORE: Lukaku dodges ban ]

Erik Lamela hasn’t played for Spurs in over a year, and the Argentine is in contention to make a Tuesday appearance at Leicester City. Danny Rose is an option, though Toby Alderweireld and Victor Wanyama remain out of action. An ill Harry Winks is a question mark.

All of this as Pochettino says their title hopes would take a humongous hit if the poor form stretches into Tuesday.

“Of course, Manchester City have improved a lot from last season. The gap is massive – we will see what happens. We need to believe and try to win games. If we don’t win [against Leicester] – it is difficult to be a contender.”

Spurs won this fixture 6-1 last season, getting four goals from Harry Kane and a pair from Heung-Min Son. The Foxes have lost just once since September ended with a draw at Bournemouth.