MANCHESTER, England (AP):Amid the buzz about surprise leader Leicester and the stuttering challenges of Arsenal and Manchester City, another title contender in the English Premier League (EPL) has been working pretty much in the shadows.Not anymore.For the first time in a generation, Tottenham are real factors in the title race, and are showing the kind of form that could see the club rid itself of the underachievers tag that has followed it around for years.The team from north London has climbed into second place, ahead of neighbours Arsenal on goal difference, and five points behind Leicester, with 13 matches left. Not since 1985 have Spurs been this high in the standings this late in the season, as they look to capture a first League title since 1961.This weekend could be pivotal, with the top four facing off. Leicester are away to Arsenal, and Spurs are at fourth-place to City.City have won the last five home meetings with Tottenham, racking up 10 goals in the past two fixtures. There’s a feeling it could be different this time.There are positives all over the field for Mauricio Pochettino. His defence has conceded fewer goals than any other team this season; Eric Dier has been converted from a defender into a powerful holding midfielder; previously inconsistent attacking midfielders Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen, and Mousa Dembele are delivering consistently effective performances; Dele Alli, in the No. 10 role, is arguably the hottest young prospect in English football; and striker Harry Kane is the third best scorer in the league.With just three losses, Tottenham could have too much energy for an aging, injury-hit City side that was blown away last weekend by Leicester – another team filled with hard-running players. City lost to Spurs 4-1 at White Hart Lane in September.A problem for Spurs could be fixture congestion, with the team set to resume its Europa League campaign next week – over two legs against Fiorentina in the last 32 – and was still in the FA Cup. Progress deep in those competitions, and Pochettino’s players could be burnt out before the end of the season.Leicester, meanwhile, just has the Premier League to focus on.MAN CITY’S INJURIESCity’s star-studded midfield is beset with injuries at just the wrong time.Star playmaker David Silva hurt his ankle against Leicester and joins an injury list that already includes attacking midfielders Kevin De Bruyne, Jes?s Navas, and Samir Nasri.Silva have had ongoing problems with his ankle, which must be a worry for City given the congested fixture schedule that includes a League Cup final against Liverpool and the Champion League last 16.PRESSURE ON LEICESTERNow the world has finally recognised Leicester as legitimate title contenders, the team has to deal with the pressure of expectation.Star striker Jamie Vardy doesn’t see it as a problem.”We’re just enjoying the ride,” Vardy said. “If you start thinking about it too much it’s going to affect you, it’s as simple as that. We’ll just continue to do exactly the same thing we’ve done all season.”One of the few things Leicester would change was its result against Arsenal in its first meeting this season. Arsenal won 5-2 at King Power Stadium, one of just two defeats for Leicester in this campaign.
VILLA (5-3-2)GUZAN,HUTTON, RICHARDS, LESCOTT, CLARK,DISSOKHO,VERETOUT, WESTWOOD, GANA,AGBONLAHOR, AYEWKANE,LAMELA, ALLI ERIKSEN,DIER, DEMBELE,ROSE, WIMMER, ALDERWEIRELD, WALKER,LLORISSPURS (4-2-3-1)Aston Villa have just 16 points from 29 games. Only two teams in Barclays Premier League history have had fewer than 16 points after 29 games (Sunderland in 2005-06 and Derby in 2007-08 – both 10).Villa have lost six of their last seven league games, including the last four. In that quartet of defeats, they have conceded 15 goals. Indeed, at Villa Park, they have won two and eight, both worse records in the division. Their goals for, 11, is the lowest, while their goals conceded, 23, is the highest. By contrast, Spurs have won seven away games, the joint second highest, and lost just twice.After winning six games in a row in the Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur have taken one point from their last two games, the defeat at West Ham and last Saturday’s dramatic 2-2 draw at home to neighbours and arch-enemies Arsenal.They remain in second place, five points behind leaders Leicester City, and can reduce that gap to two points as their rivals do not play until Monday night.Spurs would be top now had they not drawn so many games; no fewer than 10 of their 29 games have ended in stalemates.They beat Villa 3-1 in November at White Hart Lane but in this game last season Villa won 1-0 despite finishing with 10 men.Villa test Jack Grealish but are still without Libor Kozak, Jordan Amavi, Carlos Sanchez and Adama Traore. Spurs, meanwhile, test Danny Rose but Jan Vertonghen is out.
WEather: Fine; Track: GoodRace 1 1300 M (Purse $500,000) NB4-Y-O & UP MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT*1. LEGAL ARENA SEllis 55.02. BRAVE HEART HPottinger3 51.0 10L3. MR. GRAND NATIONAL JAnderson 55.0 Neck4. CONNOR JPatterson3 52.0 1LWIN: $77.00PLACE: $72.00, $134.00, $142.00Final Time : 1:22.4 Splits : 24.3, 49.1, 1:15.1,Winner : 4yo b colt – LEGAL PROCESS out of LADY BANGALORE by JOESLEWTrainer : TODD,STEVEN M Owner : WINSTON A RUSSELLBred by JAGHAI O.D., J.P., HENRY WILLIAMQuinella : (7,9) $362.00 Exacta : (9-7) $411.00Superfecta : (9-7-3-8) $3,087.00Race 2 1500 M (Purse $560,000) 3-Y-O & UP CLM($350,0-$300,0)/NB5YO(NW3)1. STAR NEW VISTA AndrePowell42. FLYING MIRACLE DaneNelson 57.0 31/4L*3. UNBREAKABLE LSteadman2 55.0 21/4L4. JESSIE JAMES BebHarvey3 53.0 31/2LDNF #7 MISS BOSS LADY JAnderson 53.0WIN: $315.00PLACE: $70.00, $68.00, $57.00Final Time : 1:35.0 Splits : 23.1, 46.3, 1:12.4,Winner : 5yo colt – FLOWER ALLEY out of CAN’T CATCH MY CAT byTrainer : ANDERSON,CARL D Owner : CARL D ANDERSONBred by LIBERATION FARM & BRANDYWINE FARMQuinella : (3,8) $741.00 Exacta : (3-8) $2,077.00D/E : (9-3) $870.00Superfecta : (3-8-2-4) $5,885.00Race 3 1000 M (S) (Purse $780,000) 3-Y-O & UP OVERNIGHT ALLOWANCE -(NW OF AN OVERNIGHT LIFETIME)*1. DWAYNE STAR DaneNelson 56.02. ACTION MAN AChatrie 55.0 31/2L3. DREAMCOMETRUE OEdwards3 50.0 Sh.Head4. MERITONE JInnis3 48.0 2LWIN: $82.00PLACE: $58.00, $67.00, $86.00Final Time : 0:58.2 Splits : 22.3, 45.0, ,Winner : 4yo b colt – STORM CRAFT out of AKIODA by LIVER STANDTrainer : LYNCH,PATRICK T Owner : RISING STARBred by DION JACKSONQuinella : (2,7) $125.00 Exacta : (2-7) $211.00D/E : (3-2) $1,150.00Superfecta : (2-7-8-6) $1,986.00Rolling Triple : (9-3-2) $1,157.00Race 4 1400 M (Purse $768,000) NB3-Y-O MAIDEN CONDITION RACE -FILLIES*1. WARTIME JInnis3 49.02. AUNTIE RHONDA WHenry 51.0 3/4L3. FRANCIA’S PRIDE JPatterson3 53.5 1L4. RUBY ROSE DDawkins3 49.0 Sh.Head5. RACKAM’S MISTRESS LSteadman2 54.5 3/4LWIN: $129.00PLACE: $70.00, $72.00, $97.00Final Time : 1:29.1 Splits : 24.0, 47.0, 1:13.3,Winner : 3yo ch filly – WAR MARSHALL out of TIME CRISIS by MARQUETRYTrainer : PARCHMENT,WAYNE D Owner : V.M.W.Bred by DR. PAUL R. WRIGHTQuinella : (5,13) $363.00 Exacta : (13-5) $699.00Race 5 1200 M (Purse $500,000) NB4-Y-O & UP MAIDEN CONDITION RACE -FILLIES & MARES*1. PRINCESS STATISTIC LSteadman2 54.02. ROSY PARKS AChatrie 52.5 13/4L3. SONADOR EXPRESS AndrePowell4 51.0 1/2L4. LEILANI JInnis3 50.0 Sh.HeadLate scratch : #9 IMAGE EMPRESSWIN: $143.00PLACE: $75.00, $151.00, $100.00Final Time : 1:16.4 Splits : 23.2, 48.1, ,Winner : 4yo b filly – REGION OF MERIT out of PRINCESS LUE by PAT N JACTrainer : PRINCE,TYRONE A Owner : BARRINGTON G. CAMPBELL & ELVIN J. DUNCANBred by ELVIN DUNCAN & EDGAR LLEWELLYNQuinella : (2,4) $951.00 Exacta : (4-2) $1,489.00D/E : (13-4) $486.00 (13-9) $177.00Superfecta : (4-2-10-8) $4,047.00Rolling Triple : (2-13-4) $652.00D/E : (2-13) $282.00Trifecta : (13-5-1) $714.00Hi-5 : (13-5-1-3-11) $566,674.00Rolling Triple : (3-2-13) $1,233.00Race 6 1500 M (Purse $768,000) NB3-Y-O MAIDEN CONDITION RACE1. DYSFUNCTIONAL OWalker 55.02. BAY COMMANDER RHalledeen 53.0 5 1/2L3. DUSSELDORF SEllis 56.0 4 1/2L4. NEHEMIAH OEdwards3 50.5 2 1/4L5. SEEKING THE DAWN DDawkins3 52.0 3LWIN: $85.00PLACE: $65.00, $105.00, $77.00Final Time : 1:33.3 Splits : 24.1, 47.1, 1:12.2,Winner : 3yo b colt – HE’STHEREALTHING out of LUSCIOUS by STORM CRAFTTrainer : DACOSTA,WAYNE A Owner : BITTER SWEETBred by JEFFREY MORDECAIQuinella : (3,9) $292.00 Exacta : (3-9) $345.00D/E : (4-3) $213.00Trifecta : (3-9-12) $700.00Hi-5 : (3-9-12-11-8) $1,529.50Rolling Triple : (13-4-3) $762.00Race 7 1000 M (S) (Purse $530,000) NB5-Y-O & UP RESTRICTED ALLOWANCE V(NW2)*1. MEDICAL INSTINCT JPatterson3 51.02. GENUINE ARTICLE WHenry 52.0 2L3. GRAND TRAIN DaneNelson 55.0 8 1/2L4. DR. DEAREST DDawkins3 49.0 Neck5. COOL U BOOTS RMcNaughton 53.0 1 1/4L6. TO THE WORLD JInnis3 51.0 1 1/4LWIN: $122.00PLACE: $66.00, $59.00, $59.00Final Time : 1:00.1 Splits : 23.1, 46.3, ,Winner : 5yo ch filly – HOMING INSTINCT out of MEDICAL SOCA by THE MEDICTrainer : HYLTON,PAUL A Owner : OOH-LA-LAABred by DAVID DIXONQuinella : (9,14) $252.00 Exacta : (14-9) $544.00D/E : (3-14) $380.00Trifecta : (14-9-7) $251.00Hit-6 : (14-9-7-12-10-3) $11,126.50Rolling Triple : (4-3-14-14) $988.00Super-6 : (3-2-12-4,9-3-14) $11,758.60Race 8 1000 M (R) (Purse $768,000) NB3YO(NW2)/IMP3YO&UP(MDN)-REST.ALL.II1. NOLAN HILL DaneNelson 53.02. AFRICA DDawkins3 48.5 4L3. ANOTHER FURY OWhite 50.0 1 1/4L4. MESMERIZE SEllis 53.0 1L5. BUCK CALL JPatterson3 51.5 1 1/2LDNF #4 MISS MYRTLE NBerger4 46.0 5/1DNF #11 DANCING QUEEN OMullings 50.0 16/1Late scratch : #3 POISON GAS, #12 GARY GLITTERWIN: $705.00PLACE: $216.00, $314.00, $134.00Final Time : 1:00.2 Splits : 23.3, 47.2, ,Winner : 3yo b colt – DEPUTY GLITTERS out of NO MONEY NO HONEY by PAT N JACTrainer : SUBRATIE,GARY A Owner