Our live stream ahead of Saturdays Premier League match, Tottenham Hotspur vs Leeds United is now up, kicking off at 12.30 GMT
You can keep an eye on the commentary as it happens below, but first, we take a preview into the fixture, lineups, predictions and much more…
Tottenham’s visit of Fulham would have presented the perfect opportunity for Tottenham to return to winning ways and end the year on a high note, but as was the case with numerous Premier League fixtures in midweek, that London derby had to be called off after Fulham reported several coronavirus cases.
On the other hand, Jose Mourinho’s men would have been thankful for a few more days of rest after a gruelling encounter with Wolverhampton Wanderers, in which the Spurs manager set his team up to defend and did not reap the rewards, with the result ending in a 1-1 draw.
Spurs have since slipped out of the title race amid an underwhelming spell of form, and that draw with Wolves stretched their winless run in the top flight to four matches since a 2-0 North London derby win over Arsenal earlier this month.
Leeds come into the game off back to back wins, having trounced West Bromwich Albion 5-0 in midweek.
The Whites struck four times in the first half – with Ezgjan Alioski, Jack Harrison and Rodrigo netting after Romaine Sawyers’s comical own goal – and a delightful strike from Raphinha completed the rout at The Hawthorns on Tuesday evening.
Aside from their narrow 1-0 win over Burnley last weekend, Leeds simply do not do low-scoring affairs, and Bielsa’s talented attacking contingent are sure to fancy their chances against a Spurs side who have become renowned for sitting back.
However, Leeds’ defensive frailties are very much still there – West Brom are the only team to have shipped more goals than the Whites this season – but the 30 strikes that Bielsa’s men have chalked up at the correct end of the field can only be bettered by Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea.
Spurs and Leeds last met in an FA Cup 4th round tie in 2013, with Leeds winning 2- in front of a home crowd at Elland Road…
Summing up 2020…
“Very complex, very complicated, the last period of last season, everyone knows what happened.”
“Then, no pre-season, the good start of this season and looking just to football and competitions, we are in the Europa League, of course the FA Cup, the semi-finals of the League Cup and in the Premier League, we are there with everyone in a situation where with two victories you go top, two defeats you go down. It’s uncertainty with everyone, and we are there.”
On the squad…
“You know that in this moment, you go day by day. In relation to the previous matches, Lucas and Vinicius should be back, and Bale and Gio, they are still out with their injuries.”
“Leeds are a team with nothing to lose. They were champions last season in the Championship, they come into the Premier League and there is no pressure on them.”
“They play without any kind of pressure, they play to win football matches, they play to follow their style of play. I believe they are going to end in a very good position in the table, but for them, to finish sixth, seventh or eighth, as an example, there is no difference.”
“They are a very difficult team to play against because of their style of play. We analyse the opponents, and we try to have our own identity too. Of course, we try not to give to the opponent the situations they want.”
“You always try to go in the opposite way and try not to give your opponent the situations where they are very good. At the same time, try to cover from the opponent the situations where you have your own fragilities.”
On Jimmy Greaves being awarded an MBE…
“I know the story, these kind of people become iconic, they become part of the eternal memory of people who love football, and especially by being a very proud Tottenham coach, I feel very happy for the Greaves family.”
Tottenham this weekend – how much do you relish the tactical challenge of facing Jose Mourinho? What do you make of the job he’s done at Tottenham and how would you assess his Tottenham side?
“The battle are every time less tactical. The games have two types of basic structures. You wait for the opponent in your own half or you go for them in their own half. Or you go from one box to the other accumulating passes or you go long and that’s how you attack.”
“As a result there is less tactical mysteries than we think. And with respect to Tottenham and the way they are playing, they are a very difficult team to face.”
“In every position they have solid, good players. They have options. They have strikers who can unbalance and they have it very clear how they want to play.”
“And it’s a team where you can clearly see the influence of the manager and they are very competitive.”
A lot of newly promoted teams struggle to score goals. Are you surprised just how freely your side has scored in the Premier League this season?
“Our team gives a great importance to the offensive game. The club has made important investments to improve our offensive game by incorporating Raphinha and Rodrigo Moreno.”
“We’ve managed to keep Helder and Jack, and Bamford is scoring regularly. And the club has also invested in the defensive part which is also needed to attack in Koch and Llorente.”
“So we’ve been helped a lot by the president for the development of the team. They are important investments which allow the team to grow.”
“And there’s also a base in the team to decide the game better in both boxes. Games are resolved in both boxes and what happens in both boxes depends on what happens in the rest of the pitch.”
“It’s been more difficult for us to consolidate ourselves defensively and our offensive game has been less difficult to achieve.”
Do you think the last two performances have shown how your side has evolved in being able to deal with defences that sit in, which may be the case against Spurs?
“Every game has different moments. In the last game against Burnley we attacked in the first half and in the second half we had to defend in our own area.”
“This game was similar throughout the 90 minutes and of course Tottenham have a way of playing that is very consolidated, very firm and in all the lines they have players that can hurt you, whether that be in offense or in attack.”
“And one of the most positive things about our next opponent is that the system or the way they play is corresponding to the players they have. So for us, every game is a new challenge.”
Tottenham Hotspur Premier League form: DWDLLD
Tottenham Hotspur form (all competitions): WDLLWD
Leeds United Premier League form: LLWLWW
Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Aurier, Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Sissoko; Bergwijn, Ndombele, Son; Kane
Leeds United possible starting lineup:
Meslier; Dallas, Ayling, Struijk, Alioski; Phillips; Raphinha, Rodrigo, Hernandez, Harrison; Bamford
Heung-Min Son Anytime Scorer – 10/11 with FanTeam
Leeds have been a hugely exciting addition to the Premier League bringing with them goals in most encounters. Marcelo Bielsa’s approach has drawn criticism and praise almost in equal measure but there’s no denying the excellent job he has done with the side.
Spurs’ title push has taken a hit with some lacklustre attacking displays but the opportunity to counter Leeds’ press could present Son with chances. The South Korean international has been lethal when given opportunities and looks like a likely scorer here.
Time to take a look at our Tottenham Hotspur vs Leeds United live match stream as it happens…