Match Preview: Spurs v Leeds United. A match we need to win (aren’t they all?)
Before I start, let me wish you all a very happy Christmas and thank you for reading my blog. I have up to 10,000 readers, so I would like to thank you for sticking with me. I’ve been writing my Spurs blog (originally about my travels, before the virus took hold) since August 2018. Before that, I used to write for most of the Fanzines in the 90s (The Spur, Spur of the Moment, My Eyes have seen the Glory etc.). So thank you.
While we’ve been forced not to playing one of our games over Christmas the rest of the Premier League teams have continued marching upwards, sideways or downwards. While we’ve dropped downwards (position 7th in the league) through no fault of our own (we can’t even blame Mourinho!).
But we can celebrate some good news. Liverpool drew as did Leicester Titty, Villa and Chelsea over the last couple of days. While Everton and City were postponed, and the only blemish on the horizon was United winning… and as for the Arsewipes… don’t mention the war! They are insignificant. So, we are 7th but those above us are just in touching distance of each others anuses (or is that Uranus and we are talking about planets here?). Therefore, all to play for. But we must beat Leeds United on Saturday.
Before we get to Leeds, two games are being played today (1st January, Friday). Everton take on the Hammers, so the ideal result for us would be a draw… the next best thing, and it pains me to say it, the team that blows bubbles must beat those that chew toffees. The other match is Manchester United taking on Villa. The best result here would be a draw… either winning would kick the other in the nuts and freeze them in their position until we all meet each other again to dance the Dance of a Thousand deaths.
About Leeds United
They play at Elland Road and have done so since hell froze over, or 1919, if you prefer dates. They have a few nicknames: The Peacocks, The Whites, United. Obviously can’t make their mind up. They were once a top team and shocked the establishment everywhere they went (i.e., dirty playing bastards). Then they fell from grace (lovely woman) and slid all the way down the greasy pole until they reached rock bottom. For 16 years they crawled and scrapped their way onwards, upwards and towards that slippery-greasy pole until their manager, Dick Dastardly, also known as Marcelo Alberto Bielsa Caldera, gave them a shove up the arse, that they all landed in the land of COVID-19, and silent crowds. What a welcome to the Premier League. So that is the short and curlies of their rise, decline, a step up the ladder and then landing on planet Uranus (better known as planet Premier League).
Now we’ve familiarised ourselves with our newbie opponents we shall move to our duel with them on Saturday lunchtime, unless the bastards do a Fulham and cry all the way back to their mothers bosom to suckle on her udders.
Lucas Moura and Carlos Vinicius might not be fit in time to face Leeds, while Giovani Lo Celso remains absent with a hamstring injury. Gareth Bale, who has made just one Premier League start, will be out for a few weeks with a calf strain.
Midfielder Mateusz Klich will be assessed after sustaining a thigh grievance during the 5-0 win at West Brom. Their Liam Cooper is also in doubt with an abdominal strain, and Diego Llorente is still nursing a muscle problem.
My thoughts and prediction on the match.
This will be a fascinating game, it has been a few years since we last met them in the league (2003/4) when we did the double over them. However, we did play them in FA Cup fourth-round tie at Elland Road in January 2013, where they beat us 2-1. It will also be captivating in the sense of the way both teams play and how both managers see the game.
Leeds completely pulled to pieces West Brom earlier this week, and their game plan, I would imagine, will be the same as they played when beating them away, 5-0. However, their style could be to our advantage, and they could play into our hands. I can’t see them sitting back and absorbing us. It’s not Leeds style. I also can’t see this being a dull game. Therefore this prediction will be a hard one. I think both teams will score, the question is, who will score the most to win the game (unless it goes to a draw)? Still, they conceded 17 goals in their other four away matches.
Our record is 7-5-3, while theirs is 7-2-7. We have scored 21 goals to their 30, however, we’ve only conceded 12 goals, while they have conceded 30. As I said, this will be a very fascinating game.
Prediction: 2-1, 3-1 or 4-2.
We are unbeaten on the last four occasions that we have hosted Leeds (W3, D1).
Nonetheless, Leeds won 2-1 in the most recent encounter, an FA Cup fourth-round tie at Elland Road in January 2013.
The teams have not met in the league since 2003-04, a season in which Spurs did the double over them.
We have gone four league matches without a win (D2, L2) – a fifth would be our longest such run under Jose Mourinho.
We could fail to score in successive Premier League home fixtures for the first time since 2015.
We have won three of our past four league games at home.
Mourinho has only lost one of his 27 Premier League home matches against promoted sides (W21, D5).
Leeds will be the 30th different side Harry Kane has faced in the Premier League – he has scored against each of the other 29.
Leeds are aiming for a third consecutive league victory, as well as a third clean sheet in a row.
They have won four away games this season, one more than in their entire last Premier League campaign in 2003-04.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side has scored 30 Premier League goals this season – the only newly-promoted team to have more after their first 16 games was Newcastle, with 31 in 1993-94.
United have won their first league game of the year in just one of the past seven seasons, beating Rotherham 3-0 in 2017 (D4, L2).
If Spurs fail to score, Illan Meslier would equal the Premier League record of seven clean sheets in a season by a goalkeeper before his 21st birthday, set by Joe Hart for Manchester City in 2007-08.
Well, that is it, folks. Again, I wish you all a delightful New Year (you can’t have too many such wishes). I hope this year will be much better than last year and that we can finally return to our clubs to witness successes, failures or stagnation… in our case, just triumphs, trophies and whatever else comes our way. God Bless Spurs!